Arlington County will hold its first mass vaccination event this weekend.
On Saturday, starting at 9 am, about 1,500 people will receive doses of the new Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine at the Lubber Run Community Center (300 N. Park Drive). The newly built community center is just blocks from Ballston.
While Arlington has been vaccinating hundreds of people in a county office building, which has sometimes resulted in long lines, this is the first instance of what the county calls a “mass vaccination clinic.” (Vaccinations have also been done at the Walter Reed Community Center.)
Only those who have previously registered for the vaccine on the state’s Vaccinate Virginia website and are scheduled for the clinic will receive the doses. Walk-ins will not be offered.
Arlington is currently vaccinating residents 65 and older, as well as people ages 18 to 64 with certain medical conditions. Some front-line 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 up distribution of the vaccine in the future.
“This single dose vaccine may be convenient for people who want to complete their vaccination program quickly, do not want to return for a second dose, or have difficulty returning for a second dose,” said Dr. Reuben Varghese, County Public Health from Arlington Director, in a press release. “This also gives us the opportunity to pilot a new vaccination site for possible future use in vaccine delivery.”
“This new vaccine option will provide a greater opportunity for our community, particularly those who may have difficulty scheduling a second dose of the vaccine,” said County Board President Matt de Ferranti. “We want everyone to know that our goal is to distribute as many vaccines as possible each week. This pilot site reinforces our ability to scale the launch of our vaccines quickly and efficiently as new supplies become available. “
The 1,500 doses of J&J vaccine offered Saturday are in addition to Arlington’s weekly allocation of approximately 3,000 first doses of the state’s other two-dose COVID-19 vaccines.
To date, nearly 40,000 doses of vaccines have been administered in Arlington County, according to data from the Virginia Department of Health.