NORFOLK, Va. — Military Circle Mall's mass vaccination clinic is getting a new look and purpose with state leaders taking over the clinic Saturday morning.
Virginia health leaders are starting the widespread administration of Pfizer's booster shot to those who are eligible. The Department of Health's Chief Deputy Commissioner, Dr. Parham Jaberi, is one of the leaders in this effort.
Jaberi said he expects to see a spike in demand, especially when the clinic opens again to the public, but his team is ready with the supply of doses.
"We predicted there would be tens of thousands of people across Hampton Roads who would qualify for a booster dose at this point," he said, standing in the clinic's new layout. "But we can easily ramp up the number of doses available. We can easily ramp up the number of staff available to meet all the needs of the residents."
Jaberi said VDH teamed up with AshBritt to design the new layout and planning for this clinic.
This is just one way the clinic is evolving. Jaberi said once the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 receives Emergency Use Authorization, vaccine coordinators will be ready to administer the doses to more children.
"We try to bring in all aspects into consideration; children are not just little adults," explained Jaberi. "They certainly require a little more training and we want to make sure we can expedite the vaccination process.
Military Circle Mall will look a little different than the past clinics. Jaberi said they set up separate privacy rooms for children getting the vaccine.
"Through this process, again, we'll make sure we're making a positive experience for everybody," Jaberi said.
He said until the Pfizer vaccine receives EUA for the younger kids, his team will focus on booster shots for those who are eligible.
Jaberi said if you still are not vaccinated, this is the opportunity to get your first or second dose of any of the three available vaccines. The clinic is still offering the first and second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, as well as the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Jaberi said state leaders will run the clinic for the next four to six weeks. Then, they will determine if they want to extend it.
The clinic is scheduled every Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., starting October 9. VDH's website also shows the closest clinics near you.