Over 2,000 seniors vaccinated so far through Bayview Physicians Group COVID-19 vaccine clinic

Theresa Zammit COVID-19 vaccine
Posted at 6:38 AM, Feb 01, 2021

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Theresa Zammit was in a chair for just a couple minutes on Friday.

She turned to the doctor who had just given her a shot, "That's it?"

"That's it."

Zammit had just turned 96 years old the day before; the same day she found out she was going to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

She's one of more than 2,000 seniors to visit the Bayview Physicians Group vaccine clinic at Chesapeake Regional Lifestyle Center on Battlefield Blvd. The health care group began vaccinating its patients just a week prior.

Bayview, which oversees numerous primary care and specialty offices, along with NowCare Urgent Care locations, tells News 3 it has more than 250,000 unique patients in Tidewater area.

"We want to try to deliver the vaccines to the most vulnerable patient populations and age is the most significant risk factor," said Dr. Jeff Forman, Chief Medical Officer for Bayview Physicians Group.

Robert Moody gets vaccine.jpg
Robert Moody, 81, poses for a photo on January 29 shortly after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine at the Bayview Physicians Group vaccine clinic.

Starting January 21, the vaccine clinic opened to patients 85 years old and up and the threshold lowered to 78 years and up within the week. The invitation-only clinic sends emails to qualifying patients, who can then set up a time to come out.

Dr. Forman tells News 3 the response was quick.

"We'll send out several thousand emails for only a few hundred doses of vaccines. When we send these emails, we usually fill up the clinics in about two hours so these fill up very quickly," he said.

Bayview, which has the capacity to give out thousands of doses of both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine each day, says it's only been sent enough vaccine to do between 400-800 shots daily.

Amounts are found out on a week-to-week basis and are patients are invited from there.

For many, getting the shot is an emotional experience.

"We've had a number of patients in tears having received this," said Dr. Forman, a pulmonologist. "I have many patients over 80 years of age, over 70 years of age. Many of them have not left the house in months."

This clinic -- part of a much larger community effort offering hope that the days of COVID-19 could soon be behind us.

"This is how we end the pandemic. We need to have a large percentage of our patients, our population, receive the vaccine," said Dr. Forman.

Bayview Physicians Group says it's planning two COVID-19 vaccine clinics in Suffolk this week and is hoping to make a return to Chesapeake, provided it continues to receive the vaccine.