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A regional, state-managed COVID-19 community vaccination center that will administer up to 3,000 doses a day will open Monday, March 15, in the former JCPenney store space at the Danville Mall. The center will be open six days per week from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for those with appointments only. No walk-ins will be accepted.
Individuals who have pre-registered for the vaccine and are eligible under the state's current phase for distribution will be contacted to make an appointment to receive their vaccine doses.
To pre-register, visit www.vaccinate.virginia.gov or call the COVID Vaccine Hotline at 1-877-VAX-IN-VA (1-877-829-4682).
“We are very excited to open these community vaccination centers, particularly for our communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19,” said Curtis Brown, state coordinator for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. “A lot of work went into making sure these sites were planned out in a coordinated and equitable manner. We look forward to expanding these efforts across the Commonwealth as additional vaccines and resources become available.”
Dr. Scott J. Spillmann, director of the Pittsylvania/Danville and Southside health districts, said, “The centers will be a game changer for our communities, greatly enhancing what we started in late December. They will allow our vaccination task force to continue to focus upon our most fragile community members — our seniors and our black and brown communities. We are all pulling together to make this a success for our communities.”
Earlier this week, Governor Ralph Northam announced that Danville would be one of three cities to start hosting regional community vaccination centers. Portsmouth and Petersburg are the other two.
The events are being made possible thanks to FEMA funding that was granted to Virginia for the state's continued response to COVID-19. Danville, Portsmouth and Petersburg were selected after the Virginia Department of Emergency Management conducted an equity analysis to determine which sites had the best access to vulnerable populations.
The City of Danville worked with Hull Property Group, which owns and operates the mall, to secure the space.
“We are pleased that Danville was chosen to host this regional vaccination site,” Mayor Alonzo Jones said. “We have put in considerable hours in partnership with others to secure and prepare this space. We are just happy to make this happen.”
City Manager Ken Larking added that the mall is a regional destination site for shoppers, so the location is familiar to citizens in the region. Also, the former JCPenney space offers plenty of room.
“Having a convenient site of this size available for the community vaccination center means more people vaccinated,” Larking said. “Our community can get back to normal at a quicker pace.”
The community vaccination center in Danville will not replace other local, small-scale efforts by the Virginia Department of Health to deliver COVID-19 shots.
The local health district remains in Phase 1b of Virginia's vaccination plans, but earlier this week announced the expansion within the phase to reach more people. Anyone eligible in Phase 1b, to include additional frontline essential workers and individuals aged 16-64 with certain medical conditions or disabilities that might increase the risk of severe COVID-19 illness, are now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines, dependent on vaccine supply and appointment availability.
For more information on COVID-19 in Virginia, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/.