Thousands of seniors vaccinated at Petersburg High School

The Tri-Cities

PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — About 2,000 people 65 and over received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Friday.

The Virginia Health Department and Crater Health District partnered up to make this happen at Petersburg High School.

Healthcare workers said 2,000 people signed up for a vaccine appointment today, and nearly 1,000 patients received their shot by noon.

This vaccine event targeted seniors 65 and over.

Tammy Varney, a public health nurse with the Crater Health District, said she’s worked on the frontlines of the pandemic since it began.

“I transitioned to our communicable disease team in Petersburg,” Varney said. “Where I came on as a case investigator, assisted with contact tracing and now have come around to the point where I’m at the area where I can actually assist in vaccinating and helping to bring COVID-19 to a halt.”

Varney assembled the vaccine by drawing it up, putting the needle on the syringe and preparing it for vaccinators to administer.

She said she wants to reunite with her family members that are in assisted-living facilities.

Sheila Pettaway is a volunteer with the Medical Reserve Corps and she’s been administering the vaccine at events for weeks now.

“Whenever I’m available I sign up for any other ones where they need help,” Pettaway said.

Every Saturday, she helps out at the Prince George High School event. She said she’s dedicated to educating patients about the vaccine and its effectiveness.

“I have family members that are afraid to get this vaccine and I just want them to understand, I want to show them how important it is to get the vaccine,” said Pettaway.

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