DANVILLE, Va. – After a surge of college students from all over Virginia descended upon Danville hoping to get a COVID-19 vaccine, the vaccine clinic inside the Danville Mall is turning walk-ins away.
Danville officials say word spread among college students that the Community Vaccination Center was taking walk-ins.
But now due to a vaccine shortage, they’re asking people to schedule appointments.
Danville City Manager Ken Larking said he saw college-aged students wearing Virginia Tech, Radford and UVA gear at the clinic this week.
He added that while getting shots in arms is important, they want to vaccinate the most vulnerable populations first.
“I would definitely not recommend anyone driving a long distance to Danville in hopes that they would get a vaccine,” said Larking.
To pre-register for a vaccine, head to vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-829-4682.
In a statement to 10 News, Dena Potter, who is leading vaccine communications for Virginia, wrote:
“Virginia’s contractor that runs the Community Vaccination Centers (CVCs) is experienced in handling, storing and administering vaccines and has protocols in place to avoid waste. The medical team draws vaccines throughout the day based on the number of appointments scheduled, and as the day comes to an end, the number of actual people in line. If there is a small number of unused doses at the end of the day, each clinic has a plan to use those doses, whether it is to call from a waiting list or to vaccinate clinic staff, emergency responders or other predetermined groups.
We also closely monitor the number of doses allocated and administered at each location.
When we opened the Danville CVC, it was the first in the state and we allocated 3,000 doses per day for that site. We went into this knowing we needed to be flexible and learn from each location, and we built in the capability to scale up or down, as needed. We learned that 3,000 doses per day outpaces the current demand in Danville. We are reallocating doses to parts of Virginia where there remain many people who are eligible to receive the vaccine in Phase 1 because they either work in an occupation that makes them more likely to get COVID-19, or they are in a high-risk group that would have a more serious outcome if they got COVID-19.
As we were working through that strategy, the clinic opened temporarily to walk-ins so that we could continue to vaccinate people. We now have stopped that, and we urge people not to travel to Danville to get a vaccine.”