Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Richmond Opens Walk-up COVID-19 Vaccination Site

Man gives a shot to a woman
A Henrico County firefighter administers a vaccine during a January event. (Photo: Crixell Matthews/VPM News)

Health officials have transformed George Wythe High School in south Richmond into a walk-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic.

The vaccination site opened Wednesday morning, ready to dispense up to 400 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The opening of the George Wythe walk-up clinic comes after the Richmond City Health District shuttered an appointment-only site at the Arthur Ashe Center last Friday. Health officials say they are moving toward smaller community hubs instead, like the vaccination site recently opened in Richmond’s West End at The Islamic Center of Henrico.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said Wednesday that the city is focused on reaching every resident who wants a vaccine.

“As you’ve seen across the country, the demand for the vaccine is waning,” Stoney said. “We are doing our best to actually take the vaccine to our communities, but also offering the opportunity for folks to come on their own time.”

Around 32% of residents in Richmond and Henrico have been fully vaccinated as of May 3. According to data from the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts, 44% of residents have at least gotten their first does.

Cat Long, a spokesperson for the health districts, said the supply and demand for COVID-19 vaccines has evened out in recent weeks.

“What that looks like on a practical level is that folks aren’t waiting on a long pre-registration list,” Long said. “Now appointments are very available through the local health districts and also through pharmacies.”

Still, some residents are hard to reach, either because they are hesitant to get the vaccine or because they encounter barriers to access. The districts hope to target those folks with the walk-up vaccination clinic, Long said.

“We hope that it helps in terms of location, that it’s more accessible to folks,” she said. “We also hope that not having to schedule anything on the phone or on the computer helps folks who haven’t been able to do that due to lack of access to technology.”

The walk-up vaccination site at George Wythe High School will be an ongoing, weekly event called “Walk-up Wednesday’s at Wythe.” The health department will be on site administering vaccines from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

While the site will only offer the Johnson & Johnson shot, health officials encourage anyone who wants a different type of vaccine to go to for more information on events or dispensing pharmacies.