PITTSBORO — The Chatham County Public Health Department (CCPHD) will host a COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic on Monday, January 25, at the Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center in Pittsboro.
The event will focus on healthcare workers with in-person patient contact and adults ages 65 and older in keeping with North Carolina’s COVID-19 vaccination prioritization guidance.
Becasue of the limited supply of vaccine and to protect the health and safety of staff, volunteers, and clients, the event is by appointment only; anyone who does not have an appointment time for the event will be turned away. In total, 410 individuals are scheduled to receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at the event, and all appointment slots have been filled.
To schedule appointments for the event, county staff began reaching out by phone or email to those in the priority groups who expressed interest in receiving the vaccine and shared their contact information through the Public Health Department’s Vaccine Information Tool (www.chathamnc.org/vaccinetool
) or Infoline (919-545-8323). A call center has been set up to schedule appointments, and County staff will reach out to those on this contact list when more appointments become available.
“We have had a tremendous response from residents who are eager to get vaccinated, but we are currently limited by vaccine supply,” said Chatham County Public Health Director Mike Zelek. “If you have already given us your contact information online or by phone, you are added to this contact list and do not need to reach out to us until we notify you that appointments are available. We are sorry that our current allocations from the state do not allow us to vaccinate all who are eligible and interested right away, and these efforts will take time.”
Upwards of 15,000 people have been added to the contact list, far outweighing current vaccine supply. The online Vaccine Information Tool remains the easiest way to be added to the list to be contacted when appointments are available. Staff are currently adding information from hundreds of voicemails left on the COVID-19 Vaccine Infoline to the database and are not able to accept new voicemails at this time.
To date, the CCPHD has received 1,500 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, all of which will have been given after Monday’s event. No vaccine doses have gone to waste. Four hundred doses were administered at the CCPHD’s first mass vaccination event on January 18th at the Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center, while the rest were administered either at the CCPHD’s clinic in Siler City or at clinics at different locations in the county targeting specific communities such as independent living and congregate living facilities. Two hundred doses were transferred to Piedmont Health Services to allow them to begin vaccinating both healthcare workers and older adults.
Vaccine providers across North Carolina, including the CCPHD, are notified each Thursday night of the number of doses they will receive the following week, making it difficult to schedule appointments far in advance. On January 21st, CCPHD learned that it would only be receiving 200 first doses of the vaccine next week.
“While we are capable of vaccinating more people than this allocation allows, we realize that vaccine supply is the limiting factor,” Zelek said. “We will continue to work with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and our community partners to get the Chatham community vaccinated against COVID-19, and we encourage residents to reach out to other vaccine providers in Chatham County and surrounding areas, many of whom receive larger allocations than we do.”
Additional options for COVID-19 vaccination include:
- UNC Health is offering the COVID-19 vaccination for individuals ages 65 and older, including at its site behind Chatham Hospital in Siler City (Medical Office Building) and nearby options such as Chapel Hill. Interested individuals can visit www.unchealthcare.org/schedule
or call (984) 215-5485 to schedule an appointment when available.
“I am deeply grateful to our staff for their hard work and dedication, as well as to our community partners and the many Chatham County residents who have offered to volunteer. Since day one, responding to the COVID-19 pandemic has been a community effort. This is more evident today than ever before,” said Chatham County Manager Dan LaMontagne.