Roanoke Rescue Mission holds COVID vaccine clinic

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 2:59 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - For the first time since the spring, the Roanoke Rescue Mission and Virginia Department of Health held a COVID vaccine clinic geared toward vaccinating the homeless and other members of the community.

Richard Jennings is one community member who got his first Pfizer dose Wednesday.

“I was kind of hesitant at first,” he explains. “I didn’t know if it was going to make me sick, because I’m a diabetic type two, and I shoot like three or four insulin a day, and I didn’t know if it was going to make me sick or not. Like a friend of mine told me on the phone, he’s like, ‘movie stars, everybody is taking it. You better go get that shot. You have to take that shot if I come see you again’, and I said, ‘oh yeah I’ve got to see you, I’m going to get that shot.’”

Medical professionals who helped organize the event say vaccinating the community and the homeless is extremely important to the safety of the rescue mission this winter.

“The reason we want the homeless to be vaccinated is so that when they get in a group setting, such as our homeless shelter or in our clinic, they will be safe,” noted Dr. Faith Pasley, Medical Director of the free clinic for the homeless at the Roanoke Rescue Mission. “Winter is coming. We want people to be safe and to be able to be inside during the winter.”

Health officials say the majority of the homeless people getting the shot have opted for Pfizer, and have successfully returned for their second dose.

“If you have a question about your vaccine, talk to your family doctor about it. Talk to someone you trust,” adds Dr. Pasley.

“It’s serious. It’s no joke. People are taking it lightly, it’s nothing to take lightly,” says Jennings. “I’ll be 60 the 1st of December, so I need this shot to keep me going. If it’ll make me live a little longer, I’m going to take it. More people should get it. They should get it, before they get sick.”

Organizers say, during the first two clinics in the spring, they vaccinated more than 100 people at each.

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