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Prince William will reopen mass vaccination sites for COVID-19 booster shots

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After closing in June, the COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic at the old Gander Mountain retail store in Woodbridge will reopen to administer COVID-19 booster shots, county officials say.

Prince William County is planning to reopen two mass vaccination sites in Woodbridge and Manassas so the local health department can begin administering COVID-19 vaccine booster shots. 

The booster shots are not yet available to the public, but the reopening of both facilities will allow the county to be prepared to administer the shots once they receive full approval.

The Manassas Mall vaccine clinic will be open on Mondays from noon to 4 p.m. every week for first and second vaccine doses beginning Monday, Sept. 13, Prince William Health District spokesman Sean Johnson said in an Thursday,  email. 

The reopening of the Gander Mountain site is still “to be determined,” Johnson said.

County supervisors authorized the County Executive Chris Martino to begin renting out the former Gander Mountain store at Potomac Mills and the former store space at Manassas Mall on a month-to-month basis beginning in September. 

The county will rent the 79,000 square foot Gander Mountain space for $25,000 a month and the 14,500 square foot Manassas Mall space for $4,000 a month. 

Both spaces were previously used by the Prince William Health District as COVID-19 mass vaccination clinics from February until the end of June. More than 155,000 vaccine doses were given at the Gander Mountain site and more than 20,000 vaccines doses were given at Manassas Mall during that time. 

Some Virginians could be eligible for a vaccine booster shot to increase their protection against COVID-19 by the end of this month. 

State health officials announced in August they are preparing for a Sept. 20 rollout of the booster shots pending their authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The White House made an official recommendation in August that people should receive a vaccine booster shot eight months after receiving their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. A clinical trial of booster shots for the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine is currently under way. 

The World Health Organization is recommending rich nations like the United States postpone distributing booster shots until more people in poor countries have been vaccinated. 

COVID-19 vaccination reduces the risk of COVID-19 and its potentially severe complications, according to the CDC. The CDC recommends that all eligible people get a COVID-19 vaccine. 

More than 12,000 people have died in Virginia from COVID-19, and more than 34,000 have been hospitalized.

Since January, the vast majority of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in Virginia have been in unvaccinated people, according to state health officials. 

Reach Daniel Berti at dberti@fauquier.com

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