Mecklenburg County Public Health To Open COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments For Residents 65-Years-Old And Up January 21st

The Latest:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (News Release) — Mecklenburg County Public Health announced today that they will be opening additional appointments for the first three weeks of February for Groups 1 and 2 based on anticipated vaccine supply. Appointments will be available for scheduling beginning Jan. 21 at 8:30 a.m.

Earlier this month, Public Health updated its vaccination plan to align with new federal and state recommendations (as recommended by current guidelines). Because vaccine supplies are currently limited, the vaccine distribution is being rolled out in phases.

Group 1 includes healthcare workers with current in-person patient contact and long-term care staff and residents.

Group 2 includes anyone 65 years or older, regardless of health status or living situation.

Public Health is opening February appointments for the first dose of the COVID-19 Vaccine for Groups 1 and 2 based on the anticipated vaccine supply.

Instructions for making appointments are available at MeckNC.gov/COVID-19.

Eligible Group 1 and 2 members may make a first dose appointment online at https://booknow.appointment-plus.com/83g1hcpv/. Please read the appointment instructions carefully.

Phone appointments may be made by calling 980-314-9400 and selecting Option 3. If you leave a message MCPH will attempt to return the call within 24-48 business hours.

If unable to secure an appointment right away, residents are encouraged to continue to check for updates. As more vaccines are made available, additional appointment times will be made available. Updates will continue to be made at MeckNC.gov/COVID-19.

MCPH wants to encourage residents ages 65+ to reach out to their primary care providers (if available) to discuss options for receiving the vaccine. Atrium Health and Novant Health are offering vaccines to eligible patients in Groups 1 and 2 by appointment.

MCPH COVID-19 Vaccine clinics are being held at held at Bojangles’ Coliseum, 2700 East Independence Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28205. Appointments are required for all eligible recipients.

Mecklenburg County residents who need assistance with transportation to vaccine appointments, should contact the Mecklenburg Transportation System at: 980-314-7600.

About the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
On Dec. 11, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in individuals 16 years of age and older.

  • Vaccine Safety – COVID-19 vaccines were tested in large clinical trials to make sure they meet safety standards. Many people were recruited to participate in these trials to see how the vaccines offers protection to people of different ages, races, and ethnicities, as well as those with different medical conditions. The COVID-19 vaccine does not contain a live virus and cannot give individuals the coronavirus.
  • Who Should Get the Vaccine – The Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for use in individuals 16 and older. The FDA and CDC are advising women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, individuals who have experienced allergic reactions to other vaccines and those who have compromised immune systems to discuss the benefits and risks of taking the vaccine with their medical provider before receiving it.
  • Vaccine Side Effects – The COVID-19 vaccine does not contain a live virus and cannot give individuals the coronavirus. The potential side effects from the vaccine are similar to those experienced by people who receive the flu shot: soreness at the injection site, fever, headaches, and body aches that usually go away within 24 hours. Unless symptoms worsen or linger, there is no need to seek medical care. Pfizer reported no serious side effects from the vaccine, and there were no deaths directly linked to the vaccine itself. The FDA and CDC will continue to monitor the COVID-19 vaccine for safety and effectiveness and any long-term or rare side effects.
  • Vaccine Dosage – The Pfizer vaccine does require two doses spaced about three weeks a part to be effective. The same brand of vaccine must be administered for both doses. Vaccine Cost: The COVID-19 vaccine will be available to everyone at no cost to the person receiving the vaccine, no matter whether you have health insurance.

More information about the COVID-19 vaccine is available at www.MeckNC.gov/COVID-19 or by calling the Public Health COVID-19 hotline at 980-314-9400.

Original Story (Posted: January, 15, 2021):

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — North Carolina public health officials on Thursday unveiled an updated coronavirus vaccine distribution plan that prioritizes adults 65 years or older, while removing college students as a priority over the general public.

“Doctors, hospitals and local health departments are working hard to get people vaccinated. There may be a wait, but when it’s your spot, take your shot to stay healthy and help us get back to being with family and friends,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D.

The new, more simplified guidance from the state Department of Health and Human Services comes in response to growing concerns that its previous plan was too complicated, slowed down vaccine distribution and administration and didn’t give enough consideration to older adults who are far more likely to die from the virus than college students and other groups.

DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen on Twitter posted a link to the updated distribution plan, which shows elderly residents who are at least 65 years old now able to get vaccinated. Previously, residents had to be at least 75 years old to be prioritized in the current group. The adjustment aligns with new guidance put forward by President Donald Trump’s administration.

North Carolina ranked as the 10th slowest state in the nation per capita in vaccine doses administered, according to data the public health department shared with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday.

North Carolina’s slow pace is not unusual, given many states have vaccinated around 2% to 3% of their populations. As distribution ramps up due to a shifting federal strategy of not holding back as many doses in reserve, vaccines will be more widely available in the coming months.

“We know that people are doing all that they can to learn about the vaccines so they can make the best decision for themselves and their families. It can be hard to know what is true and what can be trusted. We are here to provide you with honest, factual information,” said Secretary Cohen.

Once elderly residents have gotten vaccinated, frontline essential workers will be prioritized in the third phase of distribution. The fourth phase includes anyone 16-64 years old with high-risk medical conditions, all prison inmates or others living in close group living settings who are not already vaccinated and essential workers not yet vaccinated.

Based on CDC guidance, these workers include those in transportation and logistics, water and wastewater, food service, construction, finance, information technology and communications, energy, law, media, public safety and public health.

The fifth phase makes a vaccine available to anyone who wants it.

A searchable list of health departments and hospitals administering the vaccination is available on the state’s COVID-19 vaccination website, yourspotyourshot.nc.gov.