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N.C. Gov. Cooper, U.S. HHS secretary visit Charlotte COVID-19 vaccination site

Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 6:19 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper returned to Charlotte to visit a COVID-19 vaccination site Wednesday.

The governor was joined by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.

It was the second stop of the day for Secretary Becerra, after he led a health care roundtable with local health leaders earlier in the day.

During the roundtable, he discussed President Biden’s agenda to “Build Back Better” from the COVID-19 pandemic, including the American Families Plan.

Several other health leaders joined the pop-up vaccine site tour, which was held at the Charlotte Transit Center.

Some of the attendants included Mecklenburg County Chair George Dunlap, Congresswoman Alma Adams, Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles and N.C. First Lady Kristin Cooper.

Governor Cooper addressed the importance of boosting vaccine confidence to fight COVID-19.

“We’re making progress but we’re not where we want to be in North Carolina or really across the country yet,” Cooper said. “It’s going to happen visit by visit, call by call, person by person, shot by shot. Everyone’s important.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra says pop-up vaccine sites like this are exactly what is needed.

“It is great to see a vaccination site where the people are,” Secretary Becerra said.

Right now, more than 99 percent of the deaths in the US from COVID-19 are among unvaccinated people.

“Too many folks in our community, in the African American community are dying of this virus,” Congresswoman Alma Adams said.

Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Gibbie Harris told WBTV it is likely this variant will soon dominate cases in our area.

“We know that we’re only halfway through our community with this vaccine which leaves at least 50 percent of our population at high risk for infection and a greater chance for severe illness and hospitalization,” she said.

Governor Cooper said vaccines are effective against the Delta variant, but Secretary Becerra said if the virus continues to mutate, it could eventually render vaccines ineffective.

“We want to make sure that no one can carry with them a variant that becomes the next deadly version of covid-19 and makes it so that those who have been vaccinated, especially our seniors, then become susceptible to a new version of covid-19,” Secretary Becerra said.

During the tour, a 29-year-old man got his first dose of the shot, along with a $25 cash card and bus pass.

He told the governor and secretary that he is now going to encourage his family to get the shot.

Gov. Cooper visits vaccination site in Charlotte

HAPPENING NOW: Gov. Cooper is visiting a vaccination site in Charlotte. He is joined by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Bacerra https://bit.ly/36qTmeF. Watch live 👇

Posted by WBTV News on Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Cooper’s visit came the same day the second winners of N.C. COVID-19 vaccination lottery was drawn.

The governor and NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen have said they are continuing to work to reach underserved communities.

As of Tuesday, 56 percent of adults in North Carolina have been partially vaccinated, while 53 percent of adults in the state have been fully vaccinated.

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