County Plans To Close Bojangles Coliseum Vaccination Site; Shift Strategy To Outreach

CHARLOTTE, NC – The Mecklenburg County health department plans to close the Bojangles Coliseum vaccination site by May 22nd. The county health director cited an increase in supply as demand dwindles as well as a shift to a different vaccination strategy.

The news, announced at Tuesday’s county commission meeting, comes as vaccination rates are slowing down and COVID hospitalizations are on the rise.

“We’re trying to remove every single barrier we can,” said Novant Health Dr. David Priest.

He is encouraging people to get the vaccine.

“Right now it’s critical that we make it as easy as possible for anyone who wants the vaccination to get it,” said Dr. Priest.

“The fact that they’re doing walk-ins is really good for someone like me,” said Tyler Wagner.

He took advantage of an opportunity when he got off work for the day.

“The faster everyone gets it, the faster we can get back to living a normal life,” said Wagner.

According to state health metrics, COVID hospitalizations statewide have increased to 1170 on Monday. The highest number since March 6th. The percent of positive tests is up a full percent to 7.4%.

It’s a similar situation locally.

“We don’t want people to have to be hospitalized when we have a highly effective vaccine literally across the street from the hospital that could have prevented it,” said Dr. Priest.

“Understanding the need to get the vaccine out in more areas within our community,” said Mecklenburg County Health Director Dr. Gibbie Harris.

Harris says vaccine rates are slowing down. Large vaccine sites are having no-shows. And supply is outpacing demand.

“The urgency to be vaccinated decreases. We have to look at how we vaccinate differently and making it more readily available and accessible to people in the community is going to be a lot of our push moving forward,” said Harris.

Harris says they’re now partnering with influencers and non-profits to reach people who may be apprehensive about the shot.