NORFOLK, Va. — The COVID-19 vaccination center at Norfolk's Military Circle Mall is closing indefinitely due to an "unexpected funding change," the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced Thursday.
“We don’t have a timetable, but we’re optimistic. We should get a resolution soon, knowing it’s been an important part of getting vaccinations into arms," said Dr. Sulola Adekoya, the interim acting health director for Portsmouth & Norfolk Health Districts.
In what Dr. Adekoya said is a decision made at the federal level, the department paused its Pharmacy Precision Clinic (PPC) program, which provides financial support to participating pharmacies that provide free COVID-19 vaccinations in partnership with local health districts.
The closure takes effect immediately, and the center will stay closed as VDH works to get an alternative source of funding. VDH said it anticipates resuming community vaccinations at the center once a funding source is found.
The center at Military Circle Mall was open twice a week for people to get their initial COVID-19 vaccine shots, as well as booster shots. It was originally open several days a week, but VDH scaled it back in April as demand for vaccines declined.
At its height, Dr. Adekoya said the clinic saw as many as 1,500 daily vaccinations at the mass vaccination clinic, a number that's since dropped to an average of roughly 100 on each of the two days the clinic is still open.
While the clinic's operations are stopped, this will not stop people from scheduling individual vaccine appointments through the Department of Health.
According to Dr. Adekoya, staff will remain on-site at the Military Circle Mall complex to assist people who show up for a vaccine, and will instead be given information on where instead they can go for their next dose.
To find another place to get a COVID-19 vaccination, visit vaccinate.virginia.gov.