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COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic in Virginia Beach closing permanently

Health officials said the site at the Virginia Beach Convention Center would close at the end of the day Wednesday, June 16.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Wednesday brought the last call for COVID-19 vaccines at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.

Health care workers are administering their final shots before the site shuts down at 5:30 p.m.  

The mass clinic is closing down because foot traffic is slowing down.

Nineteen-year-old Andrew Delese is getting his first dose today but will have to head to another site to get his second.

“I scheduled it like two days ago, so it was kind of a shock to me that it’s closing tomorrow,” Delese said. “We’ll probably go to CVS or like another pharmacy and get it. I’m not too worried but it’s still kind of a shock, you know.”

RELATED: Volunteers needed for Virginia Beach mass vaccination site

The convention center was one of the first mass clinics in the area. But as the number of COVID-19 cases in Virginia trends down, so is the vaccination rate.

Dr. Parham Jaberi of the Virginia Department of Health said this site is one of the most successful in the state – administering close to 150 thousand vaccinations so far; But these days, it’s a lot quieter.

“We’re just not seeing the same level of foot traffic and interest that we were seeing earlier in the spring,” he said.

“In the beginning days of this effort we were vaccinating a couple thousand individuals a day. Those numbers trickled down to under 1,000 and for the last few weeks, it’s been anywhere between 100, 150 to 300. So it’s been much smaller amounts.” 

Officials said the focus is shifting because the number of people they’re seeing here can be easily accommodated at other sites within the community. Vaccines are more accessible now at places like pharmacies and even grocery stores. 

If you still need to get a shot and can’t make it to the convention center before this evening, visit the Vaccinate Virginia website to find out what vaccines are available in your area and where you can get them. 

Author's Note: The video below is on file from March 15, 2021.