New Details About COVID Vaccine Distribution In North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, NC. — The vaccine is expected to be shipped to North Carolina in a few days. Eleven hospitals will get it first, including three in the WCCB viewing area:

-Atrium Health Carolina’s Medical Center
-Caldwell Memorial Hospital
-Catawba Valley Medical Center

“These 11 hospitals have sufficient ultra-cold storage capacity to hold a vaccine while waiting for that second step. The final recommendation from the CDC,” says State Health Director Dr. Mandy Cohen.

Dr. Cohen says once the CDC makes a final recommendation, which is expected this weekend, the vaccine will be shipped using dry ice to 42 other hospitals across the state. She says they’re expecting 85,800 doses in this first shipment. The initial supply will be used to vaccinate healthcare workers. Long-term care staff and residents will be among the first groups who will receive a vaccine. As more vaccine becomes available it will be distributed to more of the state’s hospitals and then to county health departments.

“We’re hoping to move fairly quickly on that. If we get a vaccine the week of Christmas, we’re probably going to be doing some vaccinating the week of Christmas. We’re not gonna be waiting,” says Mecklenburg County Health Director Gibbie Harris.

Harris says the next challenge is getting the community comfortable with the vaccine.

“Vaccines are effective and safe for the majority of the people and I would highly recommend everybody consider getting the vaccine.”