Blue Ridge Health District explains problems from Kmart site vaccine clinic

Blue Ridge Health District explains problems from Kmart site vaccine clinic
Crowded Kmart Vaccination Site

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Blue Ridge Health District released a statement outlining the ways that its vaccination clinic on Wednesday, February 17 “did not go as planned.”

The event, which an attendee called an “incredible mess,” was held at the Kmart vaccination site in Charlottesville.

According to BRHD, the vaccines were intended for 400 residents of Albemarle County who were 65 and older, certain essential workers, and those who were on a weekend waitlist for a vaccine clinic for communities of color.

Those specific individuals received an invitation late Tuesday evening through PrepMod, the new statewide registration system from the Virginia Department of Health.

Part of the problem came when the link was “widely shared throughout the community,” the health district wrote. This led to “an overwhelming number of people not invited to the clinic who scheduled an appointment,” thus leading to long lines, wait times, and traffic.

The other problem came before the event when a “supply chain complication” led to the need to administer the already-defrosting Pfizer vaccines quickly before Thursday’s snow and ice storm.

Since the event, BRHD says its leadership team joined a two-hour mediated After Action Review meeting, facilitated by Charlottesville COVID-19 Incident Management Team Incident Coordinator Emily Pelliccia.

The health district also acknowledged the link-sharing flaw of the new registration system, which it says Gov. Ralph Northam acknowledged as well.

Despite the confusion, BRHD vaccinated 1,500 people on Wednesday and did not toss any doses.

As of February 18, over 62,000 residents of the Blue Ridge Health District (Charlottesville, and Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, and Nelson Counties) have been vaccinated. Nearly 1-in-4 Charlottesville residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and across the health district, roughly 7% of residents are fully vaccinated.

Copyright 2021 WVIR. All rights reserved.