Weekend vaccination event for Roanoke Valley people 65+ fills within hours


ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Over the course of a couple hours, Carilion Clinic announced that the thousands of registration spots for this weekend’s coronavirus vaccination event for Roanoke Valley community members age 65 and older have all been filled.

“We are thrilled to co-host the first of several community vaccine clinics in the Roanoke Valley with our health district partners,” said Chad Alvarez, Pharm.D., MBA, senior director of Carilion’s Retail Pharmacy and leader of the organization’s vaccination efforts. “It’s been heartening to see such a high level of community interest in this vaccine. While space in this first clinic will be limited, we are working diligently to offer future opportunities as vaccine supplies become more readily available.” 

According to Carilion Clinic, this two-day vaccination event — which will be hosted alongside the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts — had 4,000 openings as of 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 20.

However, by 11:45 a.m. on Wednesday, Carilion Clinic announced that registration was already full.

“This is an exciting opportunity for our residents ages 65 and over to help protect them from the COVID-19 virus,” said Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea. “We are appreciative of our community and the patience they are exhibiting while waiting for vaccinations, and we are excited that Carilion Clinic and the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health District is teaming up to make the vaccine available for some of our most vulnerable.” 

The vaccination event is set to take place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 23 and Sunday, Jan. 24 at the Berglund Center.

For those who did manage to snag a slot, you will be able to park and enter the Berglund Center — as long as you’re wearing your face covering and have your registration confirmation number — for your vaccine.

If you do not see your registration confirmation email in your inbox, it might be in your spam box, or it might be delayed due to the high volume of registration confirmations.

Organizers say they are aiming to vaccinate 200 individuals per hour using the Pfizer vaccine and schedule all participants’ second dose while at the event.

In addition to staff members from Carilion and the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts staff, other community health care workers will also be volunteering to help staff the event. 

“This event is an exciting next step that underscores the value of collaboration in public health,” said Dr. Cynthia Morrow, health director for the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts. “We appreciate the community’s patience as we work to rollout the COVID-19 vaccine as safely and efficiently as possible.” 

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