The long-vacant Victory Center (5001 Eisenhower Avenue) has found new, temporary life as a major vaccination hub for Inova Health System that will open by the end of March.
The new center is the end result of what officials described as a “Herculean effort” at collaboration between Fairfax County, the City of Alexandria and Inova.
“There is palpable hope and excitement,” said Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson, echoing earlier comments from the first vaccination event at ACPS. “The beginning of the end is here.”
The long vacant, unfinished interior office of the Victory Center was reconfigured and redesigned to support the mass-vaccination usage, with rows and rows of stations between the unfinished furnishings that are a reminder of the building’s former disuse.
Dr. Stephen Jones, President and CEO of Inova, said the facility will open by the end of the month with the expectation of dispensing 6,000 vaccines per day, provided those vaccines are available. That could double if the supply of doses increase, though Jones said he is wary of making predictions on vaccine availability.
While the project is a major boost to the region’s capacity, leaders recognized that the choke point remains supply.
“Supply continues to be our greatest limiting factor,” said Jones.
Wilson said earlier that the city is receiving roughly 3,000 doses weekly, which includes second doses for those who already had their first. This is an increase over the 2,000 weekly doses the city had been receiving, but still means that it could be late summer before many residents get vaccinated at the current rate. Many teachers are still struggling to get access to vaccines even as they’re expected to return to school, and the city just opened the current phase of vaccination to restaurant workers.
Jeff McKay, Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, said Fairfax also recently increased its vaccine supply and expects more in the coming weeks. McKay noted that the new facility is designed to meet a potential increase in supply to prevent vaccines from going unused.
“Roughly half of Fairfax County residents are currently eligible for the vaccine,” said McKay. “We get 19,000 doses every week, which is up from 13,000 weeks ago. We were told by the [state] to expect a major increase in doses in the coming weeks. We want to have the infrastructure to take care of those doses. We can’t control the dosage, but what is in our control is capacity.”
“We’ve seen areas where the vaccine has sat unused, but that’s not true in Northern Virginia,” Jones added. “We want to be sure that doesn’t happen.”
Jones said the Victory Center was ideal not only for the available interior space, but for its proximity to the Beltway and transit options — there’s a Metrobus stop out front and the Van Dorn Street Metro station is just a short walk to the west.
Jones thanked Alexandria for simplifying a potentially several-month development process down to a few weeks.
Jones clarified that queuing for the vaccine doesn’t require a credit check or insurance — though the latter is optional — but will require patients to provide the last four digits of their social security number. The requirement provides a hurdle for undocumented residents of the region, many whom live in some of the city’s most vulnerable populations, but Jones said it’s necessary to verify the identity of those who receive the vaccine.
“We do require the last four of the social security number to confirm people’s identity,” Jones said. “It’s been heartbreaking to be at the front door when people come up and we don’t have a way to verify who they are.”
McKay said Fairfax County has partnered with organizations like Neighborhood Health to provide access to the vaccine for those who might not otherwise have the required documentation, and Alexandria has similar partnerships that have solidified over the course of the pandemic.
“If someone is not a citizen we have ways to refer them to [resources],” McKay said. “A lot of these people are in high risk situations… We want every person who can be vaccinated to get the vaccine.”
Jones also noted that Inova has been running a program called Inova Cares Clinics designed specifically to cater towards underserved communities.
A power outage hit over 4,300 Dominion Energy customers across Alexandria, but within an hour it seems most of that has been restored.. Dominion Energy said there were 4,364 customers…
Good Tuesday morning, Alexandria! 🌤️ Today’s weather: Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 76. Northeast wind around 10 mph. At night: Increasing clouds, with a low…
A 27-year-old Maryland man has been charged with robbing two separate Alexandria banks in March and April. Jaquan Royal, of Prince George’s County, was arrested on May 24 in connection…
It’s been another busy week in Alexandria as the city heads into Memorial Day weekend. For those driving this weekend, be aware that some of the major roads are likely…
Are you seeking a confidential space where you can explore your emotions, overcome challenges, and find inner peace? Look no further than our dedicated psychotherapy service! We understand that life can be overwhelming at times, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.
At Peaceful Mind Solutions, our passion lies in helping individuals like you navigate life’s complexities and find the strength to thrive. Our skilled and compassionate therapist is committed to creating a warm, non-judgmental environment where you can express your thoughts and feelings openly. With our personalized approach, we tailor each session to address your unique needs and empower you to overcome obstacles.
Through evidence-based techniques and a deep understanding of the human mind, our therapist will guide you on a transformative journey of self-discovery. Whether you’re dealing with anxiety, depression, relationship issues, or simply seeking personal growth, we’re here to provide guidance and practical tools for lasting change.
Time flies when you’re having fun! The T.C. Williams High School Class of 1973 will hold its 50th reunion July 21-23, 2023 in Alexandria. All graduates and their adult nears and dears are welcome. Events include a Friday evening icebreaker, Saturday dinner dance, and a Sunday brunch. For more information: tcwilliams73.com, 770.789.3534.
Spring Fling at Rising Sol Yoga School
Join us for a day of FREE hot yoga. Experience our class styles and meet our teachers. Buy a bite at the Bake Sale to benefit The Carpenter’s Shelter, peruse some special vendors, take advantage of in-person only discounts on