NORFOLK, Va. — Community Vaccination Clinics are closing their doors across Hampton Roads.
The final day for shots at the Virginia Beach Convention Center was Wednesday. Hampton and Newport News clinics also end this week.
Not long ago, long lines filled the Virginia Beach Convention Center as thousands of people waited to get their shots.
“Over the last week or so we’ve been vaccinating maybe 100-300 individuals a day, which is good. But it’s no longer the thousands that were showing up at the door," said Dr. Parham Jaberi, acting health director for Norfolk and Virginia Beach.
Jaberi said the timing was based on expiring contracts with private companies. But, he added that the area is no longer in crisis response to the pandemic, and there’s enough vaccine for people who want the shot.
“We feel there is adequate capacity for individuals to seek those opportunities," he said. "Even if they do not have a primary care provider, there are those opportunities to receive the vaccination.”
In Newport News, the location at the former Ferguson Shared Services Center closes Thursday, June 17.
The clinic in Hampton, located at the Coliseum, closes Saturday.
Mass clinics in Suffolk's Hilton Garden Inn and Norfolk's Military Circle Mall closed last month.
The closures come as we get closer to July 4 weekend.
By then, President Joe Biden wants at least 70% of American adults vaccinated.
Right now, in the Commonwealth, 69.4% of adults have at least one shot, according to VDH data.
“Let’s not sit back or relax if we reach 70 or 75 percent," Jaberi said. "Let’s just make sure every person who can get the vax will be able to get it.”
Jaberi advised people to visit the Vaccinate Virginia website or the call VDH vaccine hotline (877-VAX-IN-VA) if they need help scheduling an appointment, or if they received their first dose at one of the closing community clinics.
He said the strategy now is shifting from large clinics to smaller, community events, and VDH employees will finally be able to focus on the other aspects of the job, paused since the pandemic.
“We have shifted a lot of focus to COVID, and now it is time to come back.”
The clinic at Military Circle Mall is coming back for at least a few weeks, starting Tuesday, June 22.
The Norfolk, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach health departments will partner to vaccinate people two days per week.
Jaberi said the location will operate on Tuesdays from 1:30-7:30 p.m., and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The clinic will accept both walk-ins and registrations.