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As Mass Vaccination Centers Open, Virginia Approaches New Phase

Man getting a shot
A man receives his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination event in January at Richmond Raceway. (Photo: Crixell Matthews/VPM News)

A Community Vaccination Center serving Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Petersburg, Prince George and neighboring areas opened at Virginia State University Wednesday.

It’s part of Virginia Department of Health efforts to augment small, local vaccination events with larger centers around the state. Other CVCs opened in Danville on Monday and Portsmouth on Tuesday, with one more set to open in Prince William next week.

Officials said in a press conference at VSU on Tuesday that they expect to start with 3,000 shots administered daily but hope to ramp up to 6,000 in the coming weeks.

A Virginia Department of Emergency Management representative told VPM the centers will eventually provide all FDA-authorized vaccines.

Chesterfield County projects the opening of the Petersburg CVC will allow them to move into Phase 1c in a few weeks.

VDH announced separately on Tuesday that some other localities will move into the next phase of vaccinations as early as this week.

1c includes a broader range of essential workers, such as those working in energy, food service and media.

Local health departments are required to make efforts to reach people in the first two priority groups before moving into the new stage.

Officials stressed the importance of signing up on the state’s pre-registration portal - shots are by appointment only. Pre-registration is also available via the state’s hotline, 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682).

Patrick Larsen is VPM News' environment and energy reporter, and fill-in host.