WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Vaccine access continues to be an issue on the community and regional level. With a May 1 deadline to make everyone eligible for vaccinations, the Virginia Department of Health opened a new mass vaccination site in Prince William County Tuesday -- the first one in northern Virginia.
The state started administering its daily allotment of 3,000 doses at the old Gander Mountain store in Woodbridge -- now transformed into a Community Vaccination Center (CVC).
VDH said the clinic is completely appointment-based, and no walk-ins will be accepted. They'll be sending out appointment invitations first to Prince William County residents.
Suzanne Dukes was thrilled when she finally was able to schedule her appointment.
“It’s just a very emotional time to just know that we’re on the brink of something that can help open us all back up again," Dukes said.
Organized by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, the CVCs are standing up throughout the state in communities with the largest vulnerable populations with higher rates of COVID-19 illnesses and death.
According to VDEM, these sites were further evaluated to ensure health, Prince William Health District spokesperson Kathy Stewart said in a release.
Prince William County has had more than 46,000 COVID cases, one of the highest counts in the state, according to VDH data.
“We have been confined in our homes since February of last year, so I’m looking forward to hopefully returning to some form of normalcy," Nita Robertson-Smith said.
Everyone WUSA9 spoke with Tuesday said the process went smoothly.
“I was quite impressed," Dawn Young said. "But really, I feel like I was in a sci-fi movie. I mean we’re all in line for this vaccination.”
Young said she still plans to stay home until COVID dissipates more -- even with her vaccine.
Those vaccinated at the CVC will come from Virginia’s pre-registration list. If you are not pre-registered, now is the time to get registered. To register, go to vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 1-877-VAX-IN-VA.
Here's what you need to know when arriving at the CVC:
- Arrive no earlier than 20 minutes prior to your appointment time. You will not be allowed in early to receive your vaccine.
- No walk-ins will be accepted at this time. Please pre-register to be contacted for an appointment.
- Bring a copy of your invitation (email, text, QR code) and proof of your name when you arrive at the site.