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Valley Health Wraps Up Clinic, Celebrates Vaccine Successes

Valley Health Wraps Up Clinic, Celebrates Vaccine Successes

Please Note: On Saturday, Dec. 11, Valley Health will close its clinic at the Apple Blossom Mall.

The mall clinic opened May 12, 2021, and has provided more than 12,000 shots in arms. “This has been such a wonderful effort from our community and the volunteers in it,” said Jason Craig, director of urgent care for Valley Health’s central region, who has overseen operations of the organization’s community vaccination outreach.

Valley Health has served on the frontlines of the regional distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine since it began administering it to healthcare workers in December 2020.

Through the mass-vaccination site at Shenandoah University, which opened January 2021, and the more than 300 area clinics, Valley Health and its partners have been able to put more than 150,000 shots in arms and curb the local spread of COVID-19. Additionally, individuals from 39 states visited Valley Health clinics, with 3,292 shots administered to those outside of Virginia, including in the hospital’s coverage region of West Virginia.

Along with the mall, Valley Health has administered COVID-19 vaccines at area schools, Page Memorial Hospital, Shenandoah Memorial Hospital, Winchester Medical Center, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) in Luray, and Warren County Health & Human Services.

Vaccine clinics by the numbers

One of the reasons for the success of the Apple Blossom Mall clinic and others like it was the use of interpreters to eliminate any language barriers between patients and vaccinators. These interpreters and the Valley Health team helped community members understand the benefits of vaccination and navigate changes in eligibility as they occurred.

Marie Restrepo, RN, one of two clinical leads at the Apple Blossom Mall clinic, emphasized Valley Health’s success in implementing new COVID-19 guidelines.

“Flexibility was the name of the game as new updates came from the CDC, and we were able to respond to that,” she said. “The immediacy of the mission has been truly thrilling, in a way.”

The COVID-19 vaccine is still available at various locations around the region, including pharmacies, doctors’ offices and local health department locations. Although vaccines for those under 12 were not administered at the mall clinic, Valley Health medical leadership encourages parents to discuss vaccination for children ages 5 to 11 with their pediatrician or family physician or contact their local health department.

By the numbers (as of December 2021 and not including healthcare workers or those under 12)

  • 7,144 vaccines for those ages 12-17
  • 79,974 vaccines for those age 18-65
  • 48,310 vaccines for those 65 and older