NORFOLK, Va. — Officials are doing all they can to try and get people to get their shots.
There are a few large vaccination clinics set up, but in some cases, not enough people are showing up.
Now that FEMA has ramped up its vaccine supply at the Military Circle Mall walk-up site in Norfolk, officials there are facing a new challenge.
They want more people to actually show up.
The site’s goal was to administer 3,000 doses a day. It’s now operating at full capacity, but only administering 2,300 doses a day on average.
Chris Topherpugh, the site’s Operation Section Chief said 2,300 is still a high number, but their goal is to help even more people get vaccinated.
“We want people to come on down,” said Topherpugh.
Now there’s a bigger effort underway to get people through the site’s doors.
“We’ve actually established a few registration teams to go out in the community to educate the residents of Virginia on our center and the vaccinations, and we also are registering those folks for appointments,” Topherpugh explained. “Without the outreach, I think we wouldn’t be coming close to the numbers.”
Topherpugh said part of the reason the site isn’t reaching its daily goal of 3,000 doses is that it’s competing against various other sites that have opened in the area.
Wednesday, Sharon Marshall walked out of the Military Circle Mall site with a big smile on her face. The Norfolk woman got the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. She has underlying conditions and the vaccine is a relief.
“I’ve been waiting for a long time for this shot. Now, I’m on my way,” Marshall said.
Now, she’s trying to convince her friends who are still hesitant to get the shot to do the same.
“I’m really afraid for them. I want them to be safe, too, from the coronavirus," Harrison said.
She’s not alone. For others, like Makenzie Harrison, the vaccine means protecting their loved ones.
“My mom had COVID, so I’m gonna do it for her,” said Harrison.
Over at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, there’s also a push to get more people through the doors. While officials say they’re not trying to reach a specific goal, they still have a plethora of available appointments that haven’t been booked online.
This week, the site began allowing walk-up appointments. The walk-ups are only available Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
The big message: these sites have doses available to individuals, and officials are encouraging more people to show up for a vaccine.
If you want to set up an appointment at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, you can do that here.
The Military Circle Mall site is a daily walk-up site from Monday to Sunday (seven days a week) between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.