Loudoun County Health Director Dr. David Goodfriend said the county is exploring a new site for its COVID-19 vaccination clinic as the demand for the doses continues to drop.
At its peak, the county was providing about 4,500 vaccine doses per day at the former Nordstrom store at Dulles Town Center, Goodfriend said, but the demand has dropped between 500 and 1,500 doses per day.
Since more shots have become available, vaccination operations have expanded across the county and the commonwealth to clinics, pharmacies and community organized events.
“It’s an inefficient space for doing 500 people in a day as opposed to 4,500 people in the day,” Goodfriend said of the Dulles site.
“We definitely want to have a government option for vaccine for folks, but the Dulles Town Center is easily not the best answer anymore,” he said.
Goodfriend said the lease on the county’s current clinic will expire in September. He hopes the next facility, which is still to be determined, will be operational starting in early September. He believes the next facility will be county owned or already available for the county to use.
The health director said the number of daily shots may drop again once 12- to 15-year-olds receive their second shots.
Goodfriend continues to urge people to consider getting the vaccine as genetic variants from the coronavirus continue to emerge and circulate.
One of the concerns with the variants, specifically the delta, is the increased transmissibility.
“If people want to travel, if people want to get prepared for fall when they come back, please get vaccinated,” Goodfriend said.
“Hundreds of millions of vaccinations [have been] given in the United States,” he said. “The vaccines are safe, they’re effective. People have been waiting to see how it works on other people — we’ve seen that, and the vast majority of people do really well with the vaccine, and it’s played a tremendous role in keeping people out of the hospital.”
In Loudoun County, the seven-day average of hospitalizations is down to one after reaching a record high seven last year, according to the Virginia Department of Health as of Tuesday morning.
Nearly 68 percent of the adult population is fully vaccinated and nearly 76.5 percent has at least one dose, according to VDH.
Approximately 54 percent of the total population in Loudoun is fully vaccinated.
Federal doses administered are not included in Loudoun’s figures.
Loudoun had confirmed 28,097 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began as of Tuesday. The seven-day positivity rate has dropped well below the county goal of 5 percent to 1.8 percent, according to VDH. Additionally, Loudoun has had 1,089 hospitalizations due to COVID-19 and recorded 283 deaths. The last reported death was on June 23.
Despite the low numbers, Goodfriend said he believes the county could see an increase in coronavirus cases in September when people return from traveling and students go back to school.
The clinic at Dulles Town Center is still accepting appointments and walk-ins. People 12 years and older are eligible for vaccination on a first-come, first-served basis during the clinic’s scheduled hours of operation, according to county officials. Appointments are not required.
Walk-in hours are three days a week including Tuesday (3 p.m. — 6:30 p.m.), Friday (9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.) and Saturday (9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.). The clinic is closed on July 3.
More information can be found at loudoun.gov/covid19vaccine.Goodfriend said he is monitoring if the CDC recommends booster shots. A CDC working group said last week there’s no evidence suggesting a booster shot is necessary.