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Fairfax County will scale back mass Covid vaccine clinics next week

The Fairfax County Government Center’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

The days of getting COVID-19 vaccinations at the Fairfax County and South County government centers are numbered.

The mass vaccine clinics will reduce operations from five to three days per week, starting Monday (Nov. 7), the Fairfax County Health Department announced last week.

Local health workers and volunteers have been administering doses at those sites since early 2021, but large-scale clinics are being phased out now that shots are “widely available at pharmacies, urgent care centers and medical providers throughout the community,” the FCHD noted.

In addition, 1,016,466 Fairfax Health District residents, or 85.9%, have gotten at least one dose, including 93.2% of people 18 and older, according to FCHD data. 926,024 residents, or 78.2%, are fully vaccinated, including 85.8% of adults.

“In keeping with the federal and state levels strategy to transition vaccine efforts away from government and into community providers, the FCHD has worked with community providers to ensure robust availability of vaccine in our community,” spokesperson Lucy Caldwell said. “As there are fewer unvaccinated residents, and greater availability of vaccines in the community, FCHD can now demobilize its large dispensing sites.”

The reduction in hours will precede scheduled permanent closures of the Fairfax County Government Center site on Saturday, Dec. 17, and the Hyland South County Center site on Wednesday, Dec. 14.

For the next month, the new schedule will be:

Hyland South County Center (8350 Richmond Highway)

  • Mondays: walk-in hours from noon-5:45 p.m., appointments from 11:30 a.m.-6:15 p.m.
  • Tuesdays and Wednesdays: walk-in hours from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., appointments from 9 a.m.-3:45 p.m.

Fairfax County Government Center (12000 Government Center Parkway)

  • Thursdays: walk-in hours from noon-5:45 p.m., appointments from 11:30 a.m.-6:15 p.m.
  • Fridays and Saturdays: walk-in hours from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., appointments from 9 a.m.-3:45 p.m.

Schedule changes can also be expected during upcoming holidays, with the South County clinic closing on Tuesday (Nov. 8) for Election Day and the main county government center’s clinic closing on Veterans’ Day (Nov. 11) and over Thanksgiving (Nov. 24-26).

Since December 2020, more than 2.6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been given in the Fairfax Health District, which also includes the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church.

Fairfax Health District COVID-19 cases for the past 26 weeks, as of Nov. 1, 2022 (via VDH)
All Fairfax Health District COVID-19 cases, as of Nov. 1, 2022 (via VDH)

Fairfax County is still seeing a low level of Covid in the community, as measured by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with the district averaging 146.7 cases per day for the past week.

However, the county health department urges everyone to get their initial and booster shots, if eligible, before the winter months and holiday gatherings arrive, since in the past, cases have surged as the weather cools. Notably, the Fairfax Health District is seeing a weekly average of two deaths per day from the coronavirus, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

“Even if you or your child or family member has had COVID, vaccination is still strongly encouraged as it provides added protection against the virus that causes COVID-19,” FCHD said. “Vaccination is one clear way to provide everyone, six months and older, with increased protection from severe illness.”

Options for getting a Covid vaccination can be found at vaccines.org. FCHD will also still offer vaccines to its clients at its district offices.

In total, the district has reported 246,298 cases, 5,065 hospitalizations, and 1,683 deaths during the pandemic.

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