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Hampton University Unveils New Mobile Vaccination Clinic, Which Will Deliver Critical COVID-19 Vaccines to Underrepresented Communities

Hampton University Vaccine Van

HAMPTON, Va.  (Mar. 1, 2021) — On Thursday, February 25, Hampton University unveiled its new, state-of-the-art, COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination Station at the historic Emancipation Oak, on its campus. The upgraded RV is equipped with pharmacy-grade freezers capable of sustaining the COVID-19 vaccine, while the vehicle distributes the doses to underserved areas around Hampton Roads. The station will travel to areas where the virus is disproportionally affecting people of color. Hampton University has been serving the local community since its inception and this new mobile testing and vaccination station will continue that legacy.

“Hampton University has the financing, capacity, and knowledge through our subject matter experts in our Schools of Nursing, Pharmacy, Science, Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications, and the Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute to help fight this terrible virus,” said Dr. William R. Harvey, Hampton University President. “ Hampton University is uniquely qualified and prepared to deliver this much-needed life-saving service to our underserved communities.”

The mobile testing and vaccination station is just another example of Hampton University doing its part to serve the region and help combat this deadly virus. Dr. Harvey and other local leaders received the COVID-19 vaccine in December of 2020 to publicly support taking the vaccine and encourage the African American community to take it as well. The African American community has had a long-standing fear and hesitancy as it relates to taking vaccines since the Tuskegee Experiment in 1932.

The mobile vaccination clinic can hold 500 shots and will be used throughout the region. The RV was a half-million-dollar project, funded by donations to Hampton University and built by STX.

“To go into the low-income, underserved, African-American, Hispanic communities, the elderly communities, and public housing communities, was the charge we were given when we started designing this mobile unit in August," said Dr. Michelle Penn-Marshall, Hampton University vice president for research and associate provost.“Many of the vaccinators actually look like the people in the community that they’re serving," Penn-Marshall said.

Hampton University has also entered into a partnership with the Hampton VA Medical Center to use the HU Convocation Center as a vaccination site exclusively for veterans and their caregivers beginning March 8. The vaccination site will be managed by the Hampton VA Medical Center. 

“Hampton University has inquired with the state to be a fully operational state vaccination site but the requests were unanswered, ” said Associate V. P. of Governmental Relations Bill Thomas. “This mobile testing and vaccination station is just one way we can serve our community on our own.”

Hampton University is working with the state and local governmental agencies to secure and distribute vaccines to the general public.