CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Adults age 16 and older can now make an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine in Mecklenburg County.
The county opened up more than 1,000 vaccine appointments for its Bojangles Coliseum clinic starting at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 30. Those in Groups 1 through 5, including all adults, can sign up for a vaccine appointment.
StarMed, the healthcare group partnering with the county, also opened thousands of appointments at its Tuckaseegee Road location.
Residents in Group 5, anyone age 16 and older, will be able to sign up for appointments on or after April 7. The new appointments run through April 12. Those in Group 4 will be able to make their vaccine appointment for Wednesday or after.
Mecklenburg County and StarMed said the appointment system was experiencing technical difficulties Tuesday morning. Residents were encouraged to continue trying to schedule an appointment.
“I logged onto my computer and checked the website at around 8:29 or so so I tried to be one of the first to book an appointment,” county resident Taylor McCall told WBTV.
His efforts paid off. He secured an appointment at StarMed’s west Charlotte location for this Friday.
“The appointments at Bojangles Coliseum had not opened up yet,” he said.
Throughout the morning, people started running into issues.
“It gave me the spinning wheel for a couple minutes and then it finally just said error unable to connect,” Patrick Howard said. “I tried a couple different time slots and it always said error to connect.”
StarMed announced updates on Twitter, asking for patience as people reported delays in getting confirmation codes and posting updates on handling the capacity and load on the system.
“I don’t think I can afford to give up,” Howard said. “I think there’s too much to lose.”
Howard has been trying and failing to get an appointment since becoming eligible weeks ago.
He has asthma and a baby on the way.
“I would love to have the vaccine, both doses by the time he comes, I think that’s really important,” he said. “So I think that’s really added to my frustration level.”
He says he’s continuing to try different time slots and hopes others don’t give up.
“If people are ticked off that we had to do this for a year, how ticked off are they gonna be if we have to do this for another year,” he said.
According to StarMed, if you do not get a confirmation code you should email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, DOB, phone number, and appointment date/time.
All groups can make appointments according to their eligibility:
- Group 1: Healthcare workers currently working in-person, and long-term care staff and residents.
- Group 2: Anyone 65 years of age or older.
- Group 3: Frontline essential workers who are required to be on-site for work.
- Group 4: Residents with a medical condition that puts them at higher risk of serious illness and people who live in certain congregate settings. - The remainder of Group 4, including additional essential workers and people living in other congregate settings, is eligible to book appointments beginning March 31.
- Group 5: All adults are eligibile to book appointments beginning April 7.
Beginning April 7, Public Health will open new appointments weekly on Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m. for appointments for the following week.
Mecklenburg County Public Health is following North Carolina’s Vaccine Distribution Plan and vaccinating residents by appointment. No walk-ins are accepted.
Find your vaccine group here.
Click here to schedule your appointment online, or schedule by phone at 980-314-9400 (option 3 for English and option 8 for Spanish).
If appointments fill up, residents can be added to the waitlist.
Residents living home-bound due to a physical or mental disability and who are unable to travel to a COVID-19 vaccination clinic can request to receive the vaccine at their home. Residents meeting the eligibility will receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as supply becomes available.
Click here to fill out the home-based vaccination request form
Mecklenburg County did not release the exact number of appointments that will open Tuesday.
Starting on Wednesday, March 31, thousands more will be eligible as part of Group 4 becomes prioritized in North Carolina. Right now, there aren’t enough appointments available for everyone who wants a vaccination.
Vaccine providers say it takes a lot of luck and persistence to get a vaccine appointment. The Vaccine Team is on your side talking to providers about the best tips and tricks to get an appointment.
StarMed partnered with Mecklenburg County to help administer the county’s doses to more people. They have a vaccination clinic starting on Thursday where thousands of people will get vaccinated. Those appointments filled up in just a few hours.
CVS, Walgreens and some Harris Teeter locations are administering vaccinations through either state or county partnerships.
Several smaller pharmacies in Mecklenburg County are vaccinating as well with supply given to them from Mecklenburg County.
CVS, Walgreens and Harris Teeter do not have formal waitlists but you can pre-register for the vaccines on their websites.