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Shenandoah University holds mass vaccination clinics

Since Jan. 13, 2021, thousands Virginia residents have been filing through the indoor track at the James Wilkins Jr. Athletics and Events Center, all while student athletes continue their practices on the inner courts.
Published: Jan. 28, 2021 at 5:47 AM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - In partnership with Valley Health, and the Lord Fairfax Health District, Shenandoah University is now serving as a COVID-19 mass vaccination site.

Since Jan. 13, 2021, thousands Virginia residents have been filing through the indoor track at the James Wilkins Jr. Athletics and Events Center, all while student athletes continue their practices on the inner courts.

“2,500 people today (Jan. 27, 2021) and honestly we could do 3,000-5,000 everyday if we could just get the doses,” SU President, Tracy Fitzsimmons said.

Individuals from all over the Commonwealth, making their way to Shenandoah University, for a fast and easy first step into protecting themselves from the coronavirus.

“I’m a school teacher so I just felt like it was something I wanted to do for my own safety, and for others that I work with,” said Cindy Shrum, a school teacher from Woodstock.

In as little as thirty minutes total, patients make their way in, sign in, receive that vaccine and even get a chance to check in on some of the University’s students.

“The wonderful thing about here is, they can see our athletic teams,” Fitzsimmons said, “Our division three men’s and women’s basketball teams, our track and field teams, practicing while they’re getting the vaccine. It’s an example of life and hope.”

The site also provides live music from the University’s world class conservatory. Many vaccine recipients excited, calling it the first live “concert” they’ve seen in over a year.

President Fitzsimmons says it has been all hands on deck in the Center, with S.U. staff, health care workers, as well as community members volunteering their time to help out.

“If we’re going to run a vaccine clinic 12 hours everyday, while we’re educating students in person here at Shenandoah, we needed everybody here,” Fitzsimmons said, “and they’ve turned out! It has been spectacular.”

The clinic is currently open to those in Virginia who qualify under the Virginia Department of Health’s 1A and 1B eligibility - you can see those requirements here - with the goal of staying open until everyone in the Commonwealth is vaccinated.

“We are confident that our state’s and our federal government are doing their very best to get more, but it is really hard because there are so many people who want the vaccine who need it,” Fitzsimmons said.

Clinic appointments fill fast, but if you’re interested and eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at S.U. you can look to register at https://www.valleyhealthlink.com/patients-visitors/coronavirus-covid-19-updates/covid-19-vaccinations/

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