Reaching rural communities with COVID-19 vaccinations in Hampton Roads

CDC says rural communities at risk
Posted at 10:44 AM, May 25, 2021

COURTLAND, Va. – In a recent report the CDC highlights that residents of rural communities are at increased risk for getting severe cases of COVID-19.

According to the CDC, approximately 60 million people in the United States live in rural counties, representing almost one-fifth (19.3%) of the population.

They said the COVID-19 vaccination coverage was lower in rural counties (38.9%) than in urban counties (45.7%); disparities persisted among age groups and by sex.

In the report, the CDC found that disparities in COVID-19 vaccination access and coverage between urban and rural communities can hinder progress toward ending the pandemic.

They suggested public health practitioners should collaborate with health care providers, pharmacies, employers, faith leaders, and other community partners to identify and address barriers to COVID-19 vaccination in rural areas.

And that is what health leaders are doing with a new push to vaccinate people living in rural areas of Virginia.

The Virginia Department of Health’s Health Districts, in coordination with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) and other supporting partners, has announced the dates and locations of its first week of mobile vaccination clinics. They will be in the Western Tidewater Health District.

They said the mobile clinics will offer free COVID-19 vaccines in a series of local clinics, primarily in rural and underserved areas where vaccine access can be challenging and that they are designed to reach unvaccinated Virginians at times and places that are closer and more convenient.

The vaccinations are free and easy to get. No appointments are needed. It’s so easy to stop by one of the clinics while you are already out and about.

These mobile clinics will offer the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, thus eliminating the need for a mobile clinic to have to return to a particular area for second-dose shots.

The mobile clinics will be offered at the following dates, times, and locations:

  • May 25 1-4 p.m. Courtland Health Dept. 26022 Administration Center, Courtland
  • May 25 5-8 p.m. Holland Baseball Field 6720 Ruritan Blvd. Suffolk
  • May 26 1-4 p.m. Boykins Fire Station 18127 N. Railroad Ave., Boykins
  • May 26 5-8 p.m. Capron Baseball Field 22505 Drewery Road, Dreweryville
  • May 27 1-4 p.m. Southampton Meadows 33536 Phillips St., Franklin
  • May 27 5-8 p.m. Newsoms Baseball Field 28286 S. Main St., Newsoms
  • May 28 1-4 p.m. Hayden Village Center 680 Oak St., Franklin
  • May 28 5-8 p.m. Carrsville Fire Dept. 6201 Carrsville Hwy., Carrsville
  • May 29 1-4 p.m. Planter’s Club 4600 Planters Club Rd., Suffolk
  • May 30 1-4 p.m. Whaleyville Rec. Center 132 Robertson St., Suffolk
  • May 30 5-8 p.m. Lone Star Lake Park 401 Kings Hwy., Suffolk