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Central Park vaccine clinic can serve 350 a day—and more, if needed
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Central Park vaccine clinic can serve 350 a day—and more, if needed


The new community vaccination center opening Thursday morning in Fredericksburg’s Central Park will be able to provide 350 COVID-19 vaccines per day—and more if demand warrants.

“That’s our capacity right now, but obviously, we can adjust to what the Virginia Department of Health is seeing in the community and what numbers it needs,” said Hannah Stone, a communications director with AshBritt–IEM.

AshBritt is operating 10 such large-scale clinics across Virginia. It’s working with the state health department to offer vaccination centers when boosters become available for all the vaccines and in the wake of pending approval of a vaccine for children ages 5–11.

On Wednesday, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson received federal approval to join Pfizer in offering booster shots for their vaccines. And regulators said those eligible for the extra dose could take a brand different from the one they received initially.

Medical studies have shown the vaccines’ protection against the virus may decrease over time and be less able to fight off the highly contagious delta variant. Boosters are recommended for adults age 65 and over and those whose jobs put them at higher risk of contracting COVID-19.

Photos aren’t allowed in the clinics when people are getting vaccinated, so the vendor and Rappahannock Area Health District officials provided a walk-through on Wednesday. Local officials are sending out the message that the centralized clinic is a one-stop shop for those who need first, second or third doses, as well as booster shots.

“This the place to come,” said Mary Chamberlin, public information officer for the local health district. “You can get everything done here, the hours are incredible, [it’s open] six days a week and this is gonna fit everyone’s schedule.”

She said having vendors give the vaccines frees up local health officials to focus on their regular clinics and services throughout the RAHD, which includes Fredericksburg and the counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford.

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“We’re stretched thin with resources, just like everybody else is, and this allows our clinical staff to perform other services in our health departments,” she said.

She praised the clinic’s focus on vaccine equity and providing necessary services to all. Upon entering the clinic, participants get a card on which they can mark any support they need while there, whether it’s a person to accompany them, headphones or other sensory tools.

At the check-in station, an interpretation machine is available for those who don’t speak English. It has 165 languages and sign language, Stone said. When a button is pressed for one of the languages, the machines calls an interpreter whose image is shown on the screen.

The machine is on wheels and can accompany the person throughout the vaccination clinic.

The nursing stations are categorized by vaccine type. There are privacy pods during the observation period for children or others who need them and even a selfie station where people can chronicle their visit.

“You want people to get excited about getting their vaccine and getting their booster,” Stone said. “Giving people the ability to promote it and to generate excitement about it is important.”

The clinic is set up in the former Home Gallery store, at 1877 Carl D. Silver Parkway. That’s in the strip behind Krispy Kreme donuts.

The vaccination center is open from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Appointments are suggested but not required and state officials are asking people to schedule their appointments at a new website:

The site will direct users to put in their ZIP code, search for the preferred vaccine then select slots available at the Fredericksburg Central Park CVC. Those who need help making appointments can contact the local health district’s call center at 540/899-4797, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425

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