‘Things went off without a hitch’: Atrium Health’s Chief Medical Officer discusses smooth arrival of COVID-19 vaccine

Novant Health preparing for vaccine shipment

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Monday marks a momentous day in North Carolina.

The COVID-19 vaccine arrived in the state and was delivered to several area hospitals, including Atrium Health in Charlotte.

Atrium Health’s Medical Director of Infection Prevention, Dr. Katie Passaretti, became the first person in North Carolina to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gary Little said from the delivery to storing those doses to administering the shots, everything is running smoothly.

They plan to vaccinate up to about 15 health care workers on Monday.

OYST COVID-19 vaccine timeline

Little said everyone who already got the shot is feeling good.

The state allocated 2,925 doses for Atrium in this first shipment, but Dr. Little said they got fewer than that.

They would not say at this point exactly how many they ended up getting.

Dr. Little also wants to remind you if you get vaccinated, you still have to continue social distancing and mask-wearing.

“It’s important that people know that as we know it now, the vaccine, we’re not sure it prevents the disease or if it just makes it milder to where you don’t have symptoms,” Dr. Little said. “We’re not sure if you can still spread the disease or not, so we still have to act accordingly.”

Eleven hospitals across the state started receiving the vaccine Monday as part of the first wave of shipments.

Novant Health will be in one of the next waves of shipments and they hope to receive it by Thursday.

Over the weekend, they received the refrigerators required to keep the Pfizer vaccine at a subzero temperature.

According to the state, they are also supposed to get 2,925 doses.

The hospitals are registering their healthcare workers in a vaccine database that keeps track of who is getting the vaccine and when they are due for their second dose.

That second dose happens 21 days later.

Dr. Little estimates it could take up until February to vaccinate the entire 1A group, or frontline healthcare workers.

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