N.C. partners with Charlotte-area businesses to give first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to 1 million people by July 4

Updated: Jan. 14, 2021 at 5:36 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A public-private partnership between the state of North Carolina, Honeywell, Atrium Health, Tepper Sports & Entertainment, and the Charlotte Motor Speedway is attempting the goal of giving the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to 1 million residents by July 4.

Gov. Roy Cooper is supporting the goal, as it aligns with his Jan. 12 announcement of several mass COVID-19 vaccination sites being established across the state to boost rollout of the vaccine.

Vaccines are rolling out across North Carolina at a time of record-breaking coronavirus numbers and hospitalizations.

“In collaboration with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, these organizations aim to unleash their combined strength to vaccinate as many frontline workers, members of the general public and of underserved communities as quickly and efficiently as possible,” the release said.

Atrium Health will serve as the health system to offer mass vaccination events in Charlotte and surrounding areas.

The partners plan to work together to administer the vaccine and offer a venue for a safe and efficient initiative.

“This is a natural collaboration, public private partnership that is going to greatly speed up the process of our communities getting vaccinated,” said Dr. Scott Rissmiller the Chief Physician Executive at Atrium Health.

Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte Motor Speedway and a soon to be determined location in the Winston-Salem area will serve as initial venues to contribute to this public-private initiative, according to the the release.

Charlotte Motor Speedway General Manager Greg Walter said while the goal is hefty, they’re more than prepared to get the job done.

“We’ve been looking over the last ten months how do we serve our community better given the assets and resources we have and this yet just another way to do that,” Walter.

“Getting vaccines in people’s arms as quickly and equitably as possible is a top priority for North Carolina,” Cooper said. “Partnerships with businesses, health providers and government like this can help get it done.”

Tepper Sports & Entertainment president Tom Glick said he looks forward to working with the other businesses, Atrium, and the state to get more people the vaccine.

“We’re all working together to make this happen and now it’s time to get to work and we’re ready to do the work of getting the shots in the arms of the people of our community,” Glick said.

Gibbie Harris, public health director for Mecklenburg County, says the only way to get the virus behind us is for people to be vaccinated. “We look forward to working with our partners to make this happen,” Harris said, with hopes of exceeding the goal of giving the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to 1 million people by July.

“Our entire community must join together to beat this pandemic and I appreciate all of our partners coming together to help address this critical issue,” said Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles. “We look forward to supporting this work to ensure that our residents have access to COVID-19 vaccines, and we all look forward to working together to help our community get vaccinated in the coming weeks and months.”

More information about Atrium Health’s vaccination plans for the public, including frequently asked questions, can be found at AtriumHealth.org/COVID19Vaccine.

“I’m incredibly proud of the nationally leading models of care we continue to offer our community, like distributing over 2 million masks, eliminating testing disparities in underserved communities, developing our Atrium Health Hospital at Home program, and now this incredible goal of reaching 1 million vaccinations by July 4. Through public-private partnerships like this, we have the opportunity to defeat this virus, allow children to return to school and help local businesses return to normal operations.”

“I am very pleased that Honeywell is leading this coalition of private and public organizations that will strive to put North Carolina on the top of the list for vaccination rates in the United States and to get as many North Carolinians vaccinated as soon as possible. Honeywell is world renowned for managing highly complex logistics, information technology and operational issues, and we’re looking forward to helping streamline the vaccination process to deliver as many vaccinations as efficiently as possible to our community.”

“COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on our community and country. We stand ready to join Honeywell, Atrium Health and Governor Cooper in the effort to administer vaccines and defeat this virus. We hope that our participation will serve as a model for other venues.”

“In our business, it’s all about speed and safety. Last year we moved quickly alongside Atrium Health to create on-site drive-thru testing as well as produce COVID-safe drive-in movies, concerts and our Christmas light show. We want to accelerate the process of getting the general public back to its next normal, where people can enjoy everyday activities and sporting events safely. We’re ready to support this aggressive vaccine initiative and help restore our community to good health.”

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