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Vaccine eligibility is open to all adults in Virginia now, and more people are getting the shot at Norfolk's FEMA site

FEMA representatives say they've experienced an influx of people showing up to get the COVID-19 vaccine at the Military Circle Mall mass vaccination site.

NORFOLK, Va. — On Sunday, Virginia entered Phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccination process. 

That means anyone 16 and older can get the COVID-19 vaccine with or without an appointment. Norfolk has been under Phase 2 since the beginning of April.

FEMA representatives said more people are walking into the Military Circle Mall vaccination site. Inside the old Macy's location, there are hundreds of flyers on the walls, describing why people chose to get vaccinated. Some of the flyers say "I am 71," "I want to live," and "I want to return to some form of normalcy."

Norfolk State University college student Amir Baker told 13News Now why he got his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I got my COVID shot today so I can protect my family and myself. So I could not worry about catching the virus, since I have asthma," said Baker.

FEMA Vaccination Site Manager Tim Smith said getting vaccinated is about the big picture.

“People are thinking not of just themselves. They’re thinking of other people," said Smith.

“This is the Pfizer vaccine. Six lives are going to be saved from this and we can do up to 3,000 vaccinations a day," said Smith.

Smith said more people of color and young adults are increasingly showing up to get the shot at the site.

“African Americans, Hispanic and Asian demographics are trending up here which is something we like to see," said Smith.

“We are seeing an uptick in 16 and 17-year-olds, which is really good news. Pfizer is the only vaccine available to them and the parents are bringing them in," said Smith.

Baker added his reason on the wall and sends his message for others to get the vaccine.

“Try to just think about your family when you do it, because you know it will be really hard to see your loved ones catch COVID," said Baker.

FEMA officials said next Wednesday marks the date when many people will be going back for the second dose. They are expected to have more than 1,900 people and they are allowing up to a thousand people who do not have an appointment.