Atrium Health offers COVID-19 vaccine to those 75+ in rural counties

Atrium Health offers COVID-19 vaccine to those 75+ in rural counties
Atrium Health is administering FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine to the public. (Source: KEYC)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Atrium Health is now offering the COVID-19 vaccine to members of the general public in the counties of Cabarrus, Lincoln and Union.

Monday’s launch at Atrium Health Lincoln, Atrium Health Cabarrus and Atrium Health Union is part of Atrium’s plan to offer mass vaccinations to people across the region at convenient locations.

Last week, as North Carolina moved from Phase 1a to Phase 1b, Group 1, Atrium began vaccinating residents 75 years and older in Mecklenburg County. Tens of thousands of people signed up to receive the vaccine when Atrium began accepting appointments last week. Atrium says invites were sent to around 164K patients to make them aware of the opportunity.

Appointments are required due to the current vaccine supply and storage requirements of the Pfizer vaccine.

“Making this vaccine available for communities in Cabarrus, Lincoln and Union counties is essential to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and ultimately defeating this virus,” said Denise White, vice president, facility executive and chief nursing executive at Atrium Health Union. “We’re working to ensure the distribution of the vaccine is as convenient as possible for our patients and community members, and that there is additional access close to home for everyone.”

In the four weeks since the first COVID-19 vaccines were given to Atrium Health teammates, more than 13,000 teammates in the Charlotte region have received their initial dose, and many healthcare workers have already received their second and final dose to be fully inoculated, Atrium says.

Atrium Health was the first health system in the state to vaccinate a diverse group of its teammates with the Pfizer vaccine, and among the first in the Southeast region to receive the first doses of the Moderna vaccine. The two vaccines are FDA-approved to prevent COVID-19.

Atrium Health says it was given its first doses of the vaccine on Dec. 14, distributing it to their healthcare workers. As North Carolina moves into the next phase of vaccinations (Phase1b, Group 1), Atrium Health patients 75-years old and older were being told Monday about scheduling their COVID-19 vaccination.

The first doses from Atrium Health were administered to those in Phase 1b at 7 a.m. Wednesday.

Atrium tweeted that 87-yera-old Allen Laymon was the first of its patients to receive the vaccine Wednesday morning: “I wanted to get the vaccine and I want to encourage other people to do it because this is maybe the last opportunity for us to make the virus go away.”

Atrium Health was one of the first in the nation to receive and distribute the initial vaccine allotments that is expected to slow the spread and lessen the detrimental effects of the coronavirus.

Atrium officials say the hospital system has worked to develop comprehensive plans to safely and effectively distribute the vaccine, as vaccination is the best way to prevent infection from COVID-19.

In the Charlotte area alone, more than 10,200 Atrium Health healthcare workers have received their first dose of the vaccine as part of Phase 1a.

QUICK FACTS:

  • Atrium Health began mass public vaccinations of those 75 years old and older at Atrium Health Cabarrus, Atrium Health Lincoln and Atrium Health Union at 8:30 a.m., on Monday, Jan. 11.
  • Atrium Health began mass public vaccinations of those 75 years old and older, as part of North Carolina’s Phase 1b, Group 1, at 7 a.m., on Wednesday, Jan. 6.
  • More than 180,000 current patients and teammates who qualify for the vaccinations have already received communication from Atrium Health with details about scheduling their vaccination appointment.
  • Those age 75 years old and older can easily schedule their vaccination appointment through an existing MyAtriumHealth account.
  • Vaccination appointments are required due to current vaccine supply and storage requirements of the Pfizer-manufactured vaccine.
  • The first COVID-19 vaccines were given to Atrium Health teammates serving on the frontlines on Monday, Dec. 14.
  • In just four weeks, more than 13,000 Atrium Health teammates in the Charlotte region have received their initial dose, and many have received their second and final dose to be fully inoculated.
  • More information about Atrium Health’s vaccination plans for the public, including FAQs, can be found at AtriumHealth.org/COVID19Vaccine

Atrium Health opened a voluntary vaccine research registry, which allows people to learn more about vaccine research and development. Atrium says people who take part in the registry may be invited to participate in COVID-19 vaccine trials in the future and will be provided with convenient access to trials, should they be interested.

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