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5K in Roanoke Valley get COVID shots at first clinic for anyone 16+

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 4:55 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Across the Roanoke Valley, anyone 16 and up is now eligible for a COVID vaccine.

On Wednesday, 5,000 people filed through the Berglund Center, getting their shots.

“It’s exciting and refreshing to see the general population come through and get their vaccinations,” said Chad Alvarez, Carilion Clinic’s senior director of retail pharmacy.

It’s the first mass vaccination clinic held by Carilion and the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts since transitioning into phase two of vaccination efforts.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) stopped by to check it out.

“The long-awaited proverbial light at the end of the tunnel I think is finally coming,” said Warner.

Patrick Toole from Roanoke is grateful that light is coming sooner rather than later.

“I feel great, my wife and I, we both registered within like 10 minutes of getting the email,” said Toole. “We’re just kind of sick of sitting around the house not being able to go anywhere.”

Ryan Lamb, 17, was one of the youngest vaccinated Wednesday. He and Sen. Warner are urging everyone to do their part.

“At the end of the day, if it helps people, then I’m for that,” said Lamb. “I’ve seen the experience and I can tell my friends about it and tell people that I know that it’s a good thing to do.”

“Go out and get that vaccination,” said Warner. “It’s the right thing to do. You’ll feel better about yourself and you’ll feel better about how you treat your neighbors.”

The 5,000 spots for Wednesday’s clinic took a while to fill up. Because of that, we may not see too many more large-scale events.

Instead, the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts plan to host smaller, more targeted clinics to reach people in all areas of the community, who may have trouble making it out to the larger events.

To find where you can get vaccinated, click here.

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