NC National Guard mobilized to help with vaccination efforts across the state

NC National Guard mobilized to help with vaccination efforts across the state
Staff members at the Cabarrus County Arena and Event Center administered the COVID-19 vaccine to Phase 1A and 1B Group 1 on Wednesday. (Source: WBTV)

CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) - Local health departments will soon be getting a helping hand with vaccination efforts.

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety announced on Tuesday that 50 National Guard personnel were mobilized.

This comes after Governor Roy Cooper tweeted that he would be mobilizing the Guard to help get vaccines done in a timely manner.

Personnel will operate out of regional emergency management offices in Concord, Kinston, and Butner.

They will work in teams of six to assist with administering the vaccine, logistics and planning.

“Those teams are very flexible they’re highly mobile and depending on what the situation is they can ramp up or ramp down and they can go anywhere within the state based upon the state’s needs,” said General Todd Hunt, the adjutant General with the North Carolina National Guard.

On Wednesday afternoon, hundreds of people waited hours to get their COVID-19 vaccine at the Cabarrus Arena & Events Center. The Cabarrus Health Alliance announced new appointment times after the arena reached capacity in less than two hours after opening.

Jonell Croom was one of those hundreds of people who waited for her vaccination this afternoon - she said staff there were doing an amazing job but assistance from the National Guard would make all the difference.

“They can use all the help they can get it’s a lot of people out here, a lot of people that need the vaccine and I think they could use the help,” Croom said.

A spokesperson with the NC National Guard said that they would have a team in Concord to support the vaccination efforts as early as next week.

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