Reaching out for vaccines

Published 6:22 pm Friday, May 28, 2021

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The demand for vaccines has slowed somewhat, but that hasn’t stopped the Western Tidewater Health District from planning seven days full of mobile vaccination clinics this week with the breakneck pace of a rock-and-roll icon’s nationwide tour.

From Monday to Sunday this week, vaccinations have been given and will be given all across the district in 13 different locations, from Windsor to Suffolk and from Ivor to Dreweryville and from Franklin to Newsoms. Two events are being held on every day except Saturday, and there is no appointment necessary. The use of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine eliminates the need for follow-up appointments, making it more convenient for people to just roll up their sleeves and then go about their business.

Western Tidewater Health District Director Dr. Todd Wagner said it is important for the health district to make every effort to reach out to the district’s more rural and underserved areas, even if those efforts don’t result in huge chunks of people vaccinated. They want every single person to get the vaccine, because every person matters.

“Even though the numbers aren’t large, it’s equally important to get those people that, for whatever reason, desire a vaccine but just aren’t getting it,” Wagner told reporter Jimmy LaRoue this week.

Western Tidewater as a whole is trailing the state by significant percentages in getting people vaccinated. In some localities, the percentages of people in each having received at least one dose or having been fully vaccinated trails the state by more than 10%.

The state health department has more information about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at They also suggest contacting your doctor for more information.

Here are the events remaining following our Saturday publication of this issue:

May 29 – Planters Club, 4600 Planters Club Road, Suffolk, 1 to 4 p.m.

May 30 – Whaleyville Recreation Center, 132 Robertson St., Suffolk, 1 to 4 p.m.

May 30 – Lone Star Lakes Park, 401 Kings Highway, Suffolk, 5 to 8 p.m.