PORTSMOUTH, Va. - This week, the Virginia Department of Health is making it easier to get vaccinated in Portsmouth. As the vaccination rate decreases, the health department is using mobile clinics to reach more people.
“The mobile vaccination clinics are one solution to reach out in the community and bring vaccines to individuals who may be a little hesitant and to make it as convenient as we possibly can for them,” John Cooke with the Virginia Department of Health said.
The mobile vaccine clinics are run by the VDH, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) and its contractor, AshBritt - IEM.
“The whole purpose of them is to bring vaccinations to areas where people may not be able to get out or go to clinics 20 or 30 miles away. With it two to three miles from their house, they can get in and get out,” said Jason Fawcett, the Vice President of Operations for AshBritt.
He says making the clinics convenient is the goal to reach more people. The clinics are only administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and no appointment is needed.
Outside of the Churchland Library, only a handful of people showed up.
“I was just driving by and I saw that they had the big sign up that said, 'COVID vaccinations.' I said, 'Why not?' because I want to go back outside.” Jaquais Taylor said.
Several other mobile clinics are planned in Hampton Roads through June 19.
“It’s really simple. It took all of 30 minutes since I pulled up,” Michael Duckwall said.
Fawcett says they welcome everyone to come and get a free COVID-19 vaccination - even those with special needs.
“We’ve created a partnership with Autism Speaks. We really try to focus in on those coming out to our clinic to where we understand what it takes to really be delicate with those people who have special needs; [people who are] handicap, autistic. We really have placed a significant focus on making sure we understand what it takes to vaccinate people with autism,” Fawcett said.