NORFOLK, Va. — On Saturday, a clinic that’s given over 150,000 COVID-19 shots is closing its doors.
Norfolk's Military Circle Mall has been an integral part in testing and vaccinating throughout the pandemic, but health department leaders said it's time to shift gears.
13News Now has visited this site a lot since January of 2021 and more often than not, the line was wrapped around the building.
On Saturday morning, Terry Bailey was one of the first in line.
"To get my safe shot, my third one, my senior citizen booster," he said, bundled up in the chilly weather.
Dr. Anna Peoples from People’s Pharmacy stepped in to help at the clinic in April. She said she’s proud of the work they’ve done.
"I feel that it has been a phenomenal success and I feel that we have saved so many lives in this community," she said.
The Chief Operations Officer of Norfolk and Virginia Beach Health Districts Paul Brumund said they still have over 100 people showing up every weekend to get vaccinated.
But now if you still haven’t gotten any of your COVID vaccines, you’ll have to go somewhere else.
"Unfortunately there’s a lot of variables when we look at this stuff: the amount of resources, money, people, we look at the vaccine rates in the community," Brumund said.
Since the clinic opened at Military Circle Mall, he said they’ve given 155,076 vaccines and provided testing -- both in person and take-home test kits.
Not only has the clinic helped battle a virus that has killed over 6 million people worldwide, they also gave out monkeypox vaccines in September and October.
The closure comes as health leaders are warning of another winter wave of COVID-19.
Brumund said this doesn't mean they won't still work with community partners to get shots into arms.
"Public health needs to shift a little bit and do something that we can reach the people who can’t get to places like this."
He said he’s proud of his team at VDH and all the volunteers and other agencies that helped keep the clinic going.
"It’s been exhilarating. From a public health perspective, this is what we do," he said. "Looking back through the snow storms, the rain, the cold to accommodate the people who are really motived to get the vaccine, it's been rewarding not only for me, but our entire public health team."
VDH officials said there are no plans to reopen the site in the future and they’re encouraging people to look elsewhere if they still need to get their shot
Commercial pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens are still offering the shots, as well as local pharmacies, like People’s. You can check the VDH website or call 1-877-VAX-IN-VA to find vaccine clinics near you.