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Mecklenburg County health leaders launching ‘doses to doors’ vaccine strategy as Delta variant spreads

Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 7:04 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - State health officials are urging all unvaccinated North Carolinians to get the vaccine as cases, hospitalizations and deaths are inching up across the state.

According to NCDHHS, hospitalizations have increased by 8 percent over the past 7 days.

This comes as the more contagious Delta variant is spreading.

“We all need to step up,” Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Gibbie Harris said. “We all need to do our part and that’s where we are in this pandemic.”

It’s not the first time Harris has said this, but with the rapid spread of the Delta variant, her message is turning more urgent.

“Most of our community does not want to go back to the days of staying at home and masking and things are closed, but the answer to that is vaccinations,” Harris said.

The newest strategy launches next week when county health staff will be bringing the shot to peoples’ home through a ‘doses to doors’ program.

Homebound residents, and those who can’t get to a vaccine site, can continue to request at-home vaccinations.

The ‘doses to doors’ program will bring the shot to homes during ongoing canvassing by groups like Action NC and Kepro.

WBTV followed along with Action NC when they began door-to-door canvassing in May.

They focus on priority zip codes with low vaccine intake.

Now, they’re taking it a step further by having county health staff with them offering the shot on the spot.

“As we go and have those individual conversations that we know are so important and encounter someone who is ready to get the vaccine or has their concerns identified and says ‘ok let’s do it now’, that vaccine will be available at that time,” Mecklenburg County Medical Director Dr. Meg Sullian said.

Experts like Doctor David Priest with Novant Health say the Delta variant is a major threat because of the way it operates.

“It’s more likely to get in your cells than other versions of covid, and because of that it becomes more contagious,” Dr. Priest said. “So if you are exposed to it you’re more likely to develop a case of it and when that happens it’s going to run through areas of our community that are less vaccinated.”

On top of that, it can go undetected because many are not experiencing the typical covid symptoms of a loss of taste and smell.

Harris said you should look out for several other symptoms.

“Shortness of breath or stomach issues or any other symptom that may be related to a virus,” she said.

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