A new COVID-19 mass vaccination site is opening in Alexandria, Virginia, and officials said Tuesday it will be able to administer thousands of doses a day.
The site, located at 5001 Eisenhower Avenue, is a joint partnership between Alexandria, Fairfax County and Inova Health System, which is based in Falls Church. It’s slated to open by the end of March.
“The headline for today is partnership and capacity,” Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson said at a Tuesday news conference.
“This has been a difficult year for this region. This has been a difficult year for our community. But for one of the first times in the last year, there is a palpable hope. There is palpable excitement. We can feel that we are turning the corner.”
Wilson called the facility opening the “beginning of the end” for the coronavirus pandemic. It has the ability to vaccinate thousands of Alexandria and Fairfax County residents every day, officials said.
“We have the capacity here to deliver at least 6,000 vaccinations every single day and the ability to expand to 12,000 a day if we make certain adjustments, which we will consider as we move forward,” said Dr. Stephen Jones, president and CEO of Inova Health System.
Jeff McKay, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, emphasized the importance of vaccinations.
“This is not just about us as individuals,” he said. “This is about every single person we interact with on a daily basis. This is about protecting our grocery store workers. This is about protecting our transit drivers, our home health care workers, our children, their teachers and everyone we interact with. And so this is a necessary act of charity for your community, do this, get vaccinated help us get through this pandemic and help us make the progress that we’ve been making.”
As of Tuesday, there are 67,945 reported cases of coronavirus in Fairfax County. More than 3,500 residents have been hospitalized. And 1,025 people have died.
“Let’s do this for them, if nothing else,” McKay said. “And as we see more vaccines come in every week, my commitment will continue to be to put every resource we have, stretch every partnership we have with trusted partners like Inova, into administering vaccines as quickly and as efficiently as we possibly can.”
Jones noted that vaccine scarcity continues to be an issue.
“Chairman McKay mentioned it’s about 19,000 that Fairfax is getting,” Jones said. “I think the mayor said 3,000 that Alexandra is getting. Our hope is that that’ll come up a lot in the coming weeks. Unfortunately, our predictions on vaccine availability have not been particularly accurate nationwide. And so I think the answer will be, when we know the number, we’ll be able to deliver that number.”
The new Inova Stonebridge Vaccination Center is just off the Beltway in Alexandria and is accessible by the Van Dorn Metro Station. A precise opening date was not specified.
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