Novant Health sends mobile units to underserved communities to get more people vaccinated

Updated: Apr. 29, 2021 at 4:53 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - It has never been easier to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Not only are the shots available, but health systems like Novant Health are bringing the vaccine to you.

On Thursday, Novant Health parked its mobile vaccine unit in the parking lot of Compare Foods on North Tryon Street in Charlotte.

Mecklenburg County health officials are concerned that demand for the vaccine is going down due to hesitancy and people not being able or willing to travel for the shot.

Novant Health’s strategy is to make it easy and accessible.

Betty Johnson was one of 101 people who left the Compare Foods with a lot more than just groceries.

“I saw them out here giving out shots so we stopped to get ours,” Johnson said.

Johnson and her family saw the big purple bus and decided to get first doses of the vaccine.

“I was really hesitant at first so I have to do a spur of the moment thing so this was good,” she said. “If I go home and think about it I’ll be like ‘ah no I don’t think I’ll do it today.’”

Novant Health’s mobile unit is coming to your neighborhood to make it easy if you’re feeling hesitant or a lack of urgency to travel to a vaccine site.

“It’s on a street corner, it’s easily accessible, people can walk up, people can make appointments,” Kim Cristino, Novant Health’s lead RN of the Community Care Cruiser, said.

Spanish-language interpreters are also walking people like Parra Garcon through the process.

“I think if you get vaccinated you can like save your life, save the peoples lives, help the community,” Garcon said.

According to Novant Health, the system’s vaccination rate for Asian and Black patients at community events is three times that of the general North Carolina vaccination rate.

“It’s awesome,” Cristino said. “We are going for herd immunity.”

Team members are not just pointing you where to go, they’re sharing information and encouragement.

The feeling of protection is exciting Johnson.

“Especially with the summer coming up we will be able to be with family and I have a big family and grands and great grands,” she said.

Novant Health gave out 101 Pfizer doses. In three weeks they will be back at Compare Foods to give out second doses.

On Tuesday, they parked the mobile unit outside of Lowe’s - Northlake to give out more than 80 doses.

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