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‘Vaccines are the key’: N.C. Gov. Cooper tours Mecklenburg County vaccine clinic

Updated: May. 5, 2021 at 5:47 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper visited Charlotte Wednesday to tour the MEDIC vaccine clinic.

Cooper, and NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen, toured the clinic on Wilkinson Boulevard, which is working to reach underserved communities.

Gov. Cooper visits Mecklenburg County vaccine cliinic
Gov. Cooper visits Mecklenburg County vaccine cliinic(Charlotte Observer)

The Mecklenburg County Health Department has partnered with Emergency Medical Services, National Guard and volunteers from Central Piedmont Community College to help distribute vaccines at this site, which is located in one of Mecklenburg County’s zip codes with the greatest need.

“Vaccines are the key to putting this pandemic behind us and coming out even stronger on the other side,” Cooper said. “Let’s continue encouraging our friends and family to get their shot so we can all safely do the things and be with the people we love.”

The clinic is also preparing shots for people who are homebound.

According to the county, they have vaccinated 300 homebound people so far.

“We are pleased to be able to share with Governor Cooper one of the many partnerships that have contributed to the public health response to COVID-19 in Mecklenburg County. There are so many,” said Mecklenburg County Health Director Gibbie Harris. “Brought together by Mecklenburg County Public Health, this vaccination clinic at Medic involves staff from Public Health staff, Medic our County EMS program, Charmeck Emergency Management and the NC National Guard to serve one of our disproportionately affected communities. We are proud of all the staff that has made this effort successful.”

Gov. Cooper visits Mecklenburg County vaccine cliinic
Gov. Cooper visits Mecklenburg County vaccine cliinic(Charlotte Observer)

WBTV reported Monday that historically marginalized communities are falling behind more affluent areas in Mecklenburg County when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations.

According to new data from the county, people living in the center of the county in communities, including South Park and Myers Park, are being vaccinated at a much higher rate than those in areas like east Charlotte.

The northern and southern tips, including places like Cornelius and Ballantyne, are also further ahead. West Charlotte is also on the lower end.

The state is continuing to encourage North Carolinians to get their shot and taking action to reach people who have not yet been vaccinated, including through DHHS’ Bring Summer Back campaign.

“Vaccines will help us end the pandemic and are the best protection there is against serious illness, hospitalization and death from this virus,” said Secretary Cohen. “Partnerships like this one that provides vaccines on-site to those who can travel and also take the vaccine to people who need more support will help us protect more people from the dangers of COVID-19.”

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said the city is all in on participating.

“To get those that are not really quite sure,” Mayor Lyles said. “Do they have the time and what does it feel like? We are going to make that information possible, engage and educate this community.”

To date, the state has administered over 7.3 million doses, with nearly 50 percent of adults who have received at least one shot and 42.5 percent of adults are fully vaccinated. More than 78.2 percent of the 65 and older population have been partially vaccinated.

“We’ve already gotten 50 percent of adults vaccinated, we want to get to 66 percent, or two-thirds, in order for us to get rid of these masks indoors,” Dr. Mandy Cohen said. “I know everyone wants to do that.”

After visiting the vaccination site, Cooper spoke at the 2021 Wells Fargo Community Nonprofit Announcement Event at Biddle Hall Auditorium at Johnson C. Smith University.

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