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After approximately two months of serving as a central vaccine hub for Pittsylvania County, the Gretna Community Vaccination Clinic will be shut down after its last clinic on May 20. A decline in demand for the vaccine combined with more widespread access across our county led to the decision to close the clinic.
"We were very pleased with the role the Gretna Community Vaccination Clinic played in providing so many of our residents the opportunity to get vaccinated," said Pittsylvania County Administrator David Smitherman. "We think that the clinic served its purpose in making vaccinations, from scheduling the appointment to actually getting the shot, convenient for people in Pittsylvania County."
Approximately 1500 vaccines were distributed at the clinic while it was open, and roughly 1,300 of those were the single-dose, Johnson & Johnson vaccine that were given at two clinics on April 2 and April 9. In the weeks since then, clinics have been held weekly, usually with the two-dose Moderna vaccine.
Pittsylvania County worked in collaboration with the local health district, the City of Danville, Averett University, and other partners to establish the former Foodland building in Gretna as the Gretna Community Vaccination Clinic. Centrally located in the northern portion of Pittsylvania County, the site played a key role in making vaccines conveniently accessible.
"We appreciate the warm response from the Gretna area and appreciate the County arranging this site for us," said Scott Spillmann, Director of the Pittsylvania-Danville Health District. "We had a very good response by the community. Moving forward will be administering all three vaccines in different ways that we hope are going to be even more convenient for the residents of Pittsylvania County."
In addition to putting in significant legwork to get the facility fixed up and operational, Pittsylvania County set up a phone line for residents to call and schedule an appointment. After leaving a message with their name and number, someone would call them back within two days. This system, which operated independently of the state's Vaccinate.Virginia portal, played a key role in making vaccines more accessible for Pittsylvania County residents, especially those that don't have internet access. Postcards that were sent to much of the northern portion of Pittsylvania County also helped spread the word to those who don't have internet access.
After agreeing to lease the facility for three months from FBGT, LLC for $30,000, Pittsylvania County has requested to terminate the lease a month early, which would save the county $10,000.
Even though the Gretna Clinic will be shutting down, vaccines are still widely available across Pittsylvania County and our region. For those that still want a vaccine, the easiest way to find one is to search near you in VaccineFinder.