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Mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic to open in Suffolk Tuesday

The vaccination center will be open five days a week. Officials expect to vaccinate up to 250 people per day.

SUFFOLK, Va. — A mass vaccination center is heading to Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Riverfront.

It will open to the public on Tuesday, April 6, but only to those who have an appointment.

“These are more, what we call a fifth leg of a stool. They are temporary. It’s just to try and get to those people to can’t get a vaccine,” Virginia Department of Emergency Management Regional Coordinator Bruce Sterling explained.

The clinic will be open Monday through Saturday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Workers plan to vaccinate 250 people a day.

Virginia health officials selected the site to be in the Suffolk area in hopes to get more shots into arms and make the vaccine more equitable and accessible. 

“We are looking at the vulnerable population so looking out at the rural areas. It’s harder for people to get to the vaccine from the areas we are looking at,” Sterling explained.

Right now, Western Tidewater Health District is vaccinating Phase 1c. Acting Director Dr. Lauren James said that so far, the process is moving smoothly.

“We’re in a good place, but we can always do more. That is where we are now," Dr. James remarked.

It’s only going to get busier. Governor Ralph Northam announced last week that anyone ages 16 and up will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine beginning April 18.

“We hope to reach everyone who wants to be reached and those who are still thinking and pondering, we have more options coming so please just continue to think on it and educate yourself to be a part of the process,” James explained.

If you want a COVID-19 vaccine, you need to register on the state’s website.