RAPHINE, Va. (WFXR) — The largest truck stop on the East Coast is here in Virginia and is now playing a major role in the Commonwealth’s fight against coronavirus with a COVID-19 vaccination clinic.
Gov. Ralph Northam was at White’s Travel Center for the grand opening on Monday, June 21 to make a speech, announcing, “We had a goal of getting 70% of adults at least their first shot. We wanted to do that by the 4th of July. Well, we’re two weeks ahead today and in Richmond this morning we announced that now we’ve hit 70%.”
Northam wants that number to grow and hopes that adding a vaccination clinic at White’s Travel Center will give more access to truck drivers.
According to truck driver Steven Nobles, “We get caught up with schedules and times so it really makes it hard to get out and go to regular stores and get decent meals. It forces us to come here to these truck stops.”
Northam says he’s working with community leaders to get vaccines to those who might have a hard time getting to a clinic.
“We can really reach out and help these truck drivers because they’re essential workers. They’re out there every day,” Northam said. “They don’t have time to go to the doctor sometime or their provider and to be able to stop by here and get their first or second shot. It helps to keep them safe.”
The idea came from Dr. Rob Marsh, a close personal friend to Northam, saying, “Yeah I did, I did call in a favor and like a good friend, he showed up and helped me out to publicize this, nice to have a governor as your friend.”
The truck stop is the second largest in the U.S. It has an urgent care center, pharmacy, dental office, and chiropractor.
“I-81 is so busy, so much traffic, and we really just tried to think creatively, think outside of the box, how we can take the vaccine to the people,” said Northam.
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