Arlington County will be conducting its first mass vaccination event this weekend.
On Saturday, starting around 9 a.m., about 1,500 people will receive doses of the new one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the Lubber Run Community Center (300 N. Park Drive). The recently-built community center is just a few blocks from Ballston.
While Arlington has been vaccinating people by the hundreds at a county office building, sometimes leading to long lines, this is the first instance of what the county is calling a “mass vaccination clinic.” (Vaccinations have also been taking place at the Walter Reed Community Center.)
Only those pre-registered for the vaccine on the state’s Vaccinate Virginia website and scheduled for the clinic will receive doses. No walk-ups will be offered.
Arlington is currently vaccinating residents 65 and older, as well as those 18-64 with certain medical conditions. Some frontline workers are also being vaccinated.
County officials described the mass vaccination event as a “pilot” that will establish a new distribution point and help speed vaccine distribution down the road.
“This single-dose vaccine may be desirable for people who want to complete their immunization schedule quickly, do not want to return for a second dose, or have difficulty returning for a second dose,” said Dr. Reuben Varghese, Arlington County Public Health Director, in a press release. “This also gives us an opportunity to pilot operations at a new vaccination site for potential future use in vaccine administration.”
“This new vaccine option will provide increased opportunity for our community, particularly those who may have difficulty in scheduling a second dose of the vaccine,” said County Board Chair Matt de Ferranti. “We want everyone to know that our goal is to get as many vaccines distributed each week as possible. This pilot site reinforces our ability to scale our vaccine rollout quickly and efficiently as new supply becomes available.”
The 1,500 doses of the J&J vaccine offered Saturday is in addition to Arlington’s weekly allotment of about 3,000 first doses of the other, two-dose COVID-19 vaccines from the state.
To date, nearly 40,000 vaccine doses have been administered in Arlington County, according to Virginia Dept. of Health data.