Hundreds pouring into Military Circle Mall to get booster shot amid news of Omicron variant

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Posted at 2:39 PM, Nov 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-30 18:38:35-05

NORFOLK, Va. – A steady stream of people walked into the vaccination clinic at Military Circle Mall on Tuesday.

The vaccination clinic was last open on Wednesday just before Thanksgiving. According to officials from the Virginia Department of Health, 778 doses were given that day.

Many getting their shots told News 3 they did make appointments, but the clinic still welcomes walk-ins.

However, visitors may need to wait longer without an appointment. One man said he was told it could be up to two hours, so he decided to come back another time. But Judy McCleese and her sister said they were walk-ins and it took about 30 minutes.

Before hearing about the new Omicron variant of COVID-19, McCleese had already decided to get the booster.

“Every time we turn around, there’s a new strain,” said McCleese. “Just be prepared. Just be prepared. Get your vaccination. It’s very important. We take care of our mother. She’s elderly, so it’s important for us to stay up to date on our vaccinations.”

Dr. Parham Jaberi, acting district health director for the Norfolk Health Department, says the Military Circle Mall clinic is staying busy, but they have plenty of vaccines. He urges everyone to get their vaccines regardless of the Omicron variant.

“It’s still very early for us to know how well the vaccine will protect against the new variant,” stated Jaberi. “Whether we’re talking about this most recent variant or others, we know that having some protection from the vaccine will be helpful in the long run.”

Jaberi says with the colder weather and family and friends gathering at the holidays, now is not the time to let your guard down.

“Leaving the variant aside, it’s important anyone who hasn’t gotten vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible because cases will rise in the coming few weeks here on the Eastern region and throughout the Commonwealth - that’s a certainty. We’re already seeing those numbers increase.”

Related: UVA infectious disease expert discusses what you need to know about Omicron variant

This week, Military Circle Mall is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. for vaccinations.

Click here to see a list of places that offer COVID-19 vaccines and the booster shots.

To make a vaccination appointment, visit Norfolk/VAB and type "23502" into the ZIP code search bar to schedule an appointment at the clinic. You can also call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1). Assistance is available in English, Spanish and more than 100 other languages. The Norfolk COVID-19 hotline (757) 683-2745 can also help with general questions.

Click here for our full COVID vaccination guide.