Mecklenburg County creates new partnership to distribute vaccines faster

New partnership to distribute vaccine in Mecklenburg County

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - In effort to distribute vaccines faster, Mecklenburg County has partnered with StarMed Health.

County health leaders stay the partnership, starting next week, will benefit people in the county once the process starts to ramp up. With people now ready for a second dose, StarMed will help give out the second doses of vaccines.

“Collaborations will allow Mecklenburg Co. public health to rapidly distribute first doses to eligible individuals as quickly possible while also ensuring second doses for all individuals receiving through the health department,” said Public Health Medical Director Dr. Meg Sullivan.

Sullivan says more details on the partnership will be released soon. Anyone who got their first dose through the county will receive information within 24 hours, she added.

She also says as of Saturday, more than more than 4,000 appointments are scheduled through the end of the month.

“We have provided over 3,700 doses of vaccines and have an additional 400 people scheduled today at Bojangles,” Sullivan said.

For Novant and Atrium Health, their vaccination process is also in full swing.

“Four weeks in, we’ve vaccinated the majority of our team in Phase 1a, started last week vaccinating the community,” said Dr. Garry Little.

Novant says roughly half of shots administered were given in the Charlotte-area.

“Just over 15,000 vaccines to them. Around 2,000 are those with a second dose around the 2,100 mark,” said Dr. Sid Fletcher.

As pressure continues to expedite the vaccine rollout, health officials say that depends on the government.

“We’re dependent on the state and the state is dependent on the federal government in terms of that vaccine. All of us are making plans for when that vaccine flow increases and how we can make it more available to the community,” said public health director Gibbie Harris.

With rising numbers across Mecklenburg County, leaders stressed the importance of wearing a mask, social distancing and avoiding large crowds.

“We’re doing everything we can to meet the need but as long as people continue to act irresponsibly it’s going to be a losing battle for any health system in the entire country,” added Little.

Individuals who received their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from MCPH and need to schedule their second dose appointment (due 21 days after the first dose), can visit https://starmed.care/ to make an appointment.

Individuals who already scheduled a second dose COVID-19 vaccine appointment through MCPH do not need to schedule a second appointment through this system. More information is  available at www.mecknc.gov/COVID-19.

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