New vaccine clinic targets truckers, travelers at White’s Travel Center

Gov. Ralph Northam said this is another push towards herd immunity in Virginia

RAPHINE, Va. – In a major milestone in the fight against COVID-19, 70% of Virginia adults have now received at least one dose of vaccine.

That means the Commonwealth reached President Joe Biden’s goal two weeks ahead of schedule.

Even with the significant progress, Gov. Ralph Northam isn’t claiming victory just yet.

“While we’re at 70%, we would obviously like to get higher into what we call that herd immunity,” Northam said.

Now, there’s a new strategy to do just that: a vaccine clinic, not far off the beaten path at White’s Travel Center in Raphine.

Northam got a first-hand look at the clinic Monday.

“I-81 is so busy, so much truck traffic and we really just tried to think creatively, think outside of the box about how can we take the vaccines to the people,” Northam said.

White’s Travel Center is the largest truck stop on the east coast and the second-largest in America, with about 4,000 people coming through every day. That gives them a unique opportunity to reach people and they’re hoping to take advantage of that with vaccine distribution.

“I think about 40% of truckers actually live in their truck most of the time and so that is their home and they can’t pull their home into a Walmart or CVS to get a vaccine,” said Dr. Rob Marsh, who started the vaccine clinic at White’s Travel Center.

Now, all they have to do is walk in to get a first or second dose of any of the three vaccines. The clinic is open not just to truckers, but also to travelers.

“The overall goal is to vaccinate everyone who wants to be vaccinated,” Marsh said.

Soon, the clinic will be advertised on electronic billboards on the interstate, making it easy and accessible for anyone passing through.

“I won’t be content until this COVID-19 is in the rearview mirror,” Northam said.

Eliminating another speed bump on the road to recovery.

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Jessica anchors 10 News on Saturdays and Sundays at 6 and 11 p.m. You can also catch her reporting during the week.