Mass vaccination clinic opens in Tysons Corner Center today

The former Lord & Taylor in Tysons Corner Center is now a mass vaccination site that can administer vaccines to upwards of 3,000 people a day.

In place of clothing racks are now hundreds of black chairs, all spaced to allow for social distancing, but vestiges of the department store — like the glass cases for jewelry — remain. The state-funded clinic, the first of its kind in Fairfax County, started delivering COVID-19 vaccinations today (Tuesday).

“This is the economic engine of Fairfax County, indeed the Commonwealth, and it is necessary people in Fairfax County get vaccinated,” Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Jeffrey McKay said during a press conference yesterday (Monday). “This is an act of charity, and we in Fairfax County are charitable people.”

As of Sunday (April 18), Fairfax County has expanded vaccine eligibility to anyone 16 and older, and more than a quarter of Virginia’s population has been fully vaccinated.

“However you’re able to get an appointment, please get vaccinated,” Gov. Ralph Northam said during the press conference.

After dropping steeply earlier this year, new case rates are plateauing, and the positivity rate is down to 6.1%, he said. As a result, small tweaks in the guidelines will be coming in a few weeks, such as changes to capacity limits for performing arts and sports.

Virginia State Vaccination Coordinator Dr. Danny Avula said that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice will make a decision on Friday (April 23) about whether to move forward with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration continue to collect data.

To fill the hole left by the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Virginia has received an additional 15,000 doses of the Moderna and Pfizer shots this week for a total of 220,000 first doses, he said.

“It sounds like the production capability for Moderna and Pfizer is kind of maxed out,” Avula said. “We do not expect a significant increase in Moderna and Pfizer moving forward.”

Todd Putt, the senior manager of marketing for Tysons Corner Center, said Lord & Taylor left last year, and a logistics team converted the space into a clinic in a few weeks.

“We’re thankful to have the clinic here and to contribute in this way,” Putt said.

Retail outlets had been offering abundant space for a while, but the state and county needed more vaccine supply before it could open any clinics, according to Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik.

“This is a great local, state, and federal partnership to work more quickly to meet vaccine demand,” she said.

Officials said interpreters will be on-site to help and for those who speak languages not represented, as machines will offer translation services in more than 100 languages.

Residents can sign up for an appointment through the state website. They can also use VaccineFinder to find local pharmacies and other sites that are providing vaccine doses.

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