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‘Doses to Doors’: Mecklenburg County health staff offering door-to-door COVID-19 vaccinations

Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 7:39 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Mecklenburg County Health Department is bringing the COVID-19 vaccine to your doorstep.

On Monday, health staff launched the ‘Doses to Doors’ program.

Volunteers with non-profits like Action NC have been knocking on doors and providing vaccine information to people since May, but now they also have county health department staff on standby nearby so that if someone wants a shot, they can get it from the comfort of their home.

The program is focused on priority zip codes with low vaccine uptake.

On Monday, they started their efforts at the South Side Homes apartment complex in Charlotte.

Many of the people who answered their doors said they either were already vaccinated or were not interested.

Action NC volunteers are handing people pamphlets with information.

Four people decided on the spot that they would get their shot.

“We’re not confrontational, it’s not like you have to get the shot,” Robert Dawkins with Action NC told WBTV. “But our job is to dispel rumors and things.”

Dawkins hopes this new program will be a game-changer.

“We get people that will say ‘yes I will get the shot’, but the follow-up has always been the issue,” Dawkins said. “Will they go? How can we get people to go out and go? So, now that the health department is out with us, we miss that middle step now.”

One man, who did not want to be identified, jumped at the chance to get the shot on his front porch.

Mecklenburg County medical director Dr. Meg Sullivan administered the one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot.

“The reason I haven’t been vaccinated yet because I didn’t have the convenience of getting around to get there,” the man said. “I have grandkids in here I watch every day.”

Health leaders hope to reach more people like this man who says he probably would not have gotten around to it.

He said he’s glad the opportunity came knocking literally at his door.

“Hey I’m glad I took the shot!” he said. “Now I can join the band again and walk around and be safe.”

He also said he was going to tell his family members he got vaccinated in hopes that it encourages them to do it too.

Mecklenburg County Public Health is also taking requests for at-home vaccinations. Click here for more information.

There have been some critics of these door-to-door programs.

Governor Henry McMaster is calling on the South Carolina health department to ban these kinds of efforts.

In a statement McMaster said:

“Enticing, coercing, intimidating, mandating, or pressuring anyone to take the vaccine is a bad policy which will deteriorate the public’s trust and confidence in the State’s vaccination efforts.”

Dawkins told WBTV he and the other volunteers are providing an opportunity rather than pressuring anyone.

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