Pittsboro, NC — The Chatham County Public Health Department (CCPHD), along with vaccine providers like UNC Health and Piedmont Health Services, continues efforts to vaccinate eligible individuals against COVID-19 in Chatham County. According to the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) COVID-19 vaccination dashboard, 12,221 first doses and 4,294 second doses of the vaccine had been administered to Chatham County residents as of noon on Friday, February 12th.
The CCPHD hosted a large vaccination clinic on Friday, vaccinating 382 people against COVID-19. That brought the department’s total up to more than 2300 first doses.
Group 3 and Education Professionals
On Wednesday, February 10, Governor Cooper announced that staff at PreK-12 schools and child care facilities would become eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning on February 24th, with the remainder of Group 3, which includes other frontline essential workers, becoming eligible on March 10. To learn more about Group 3 and who is eligible, visit yourspotyourshot.nc.gov.
“Along with COVID-19 vaccine providers across the county and state, we continue to focus our vaccinations on individuals in Groups 1 and 2 who have not yet been vaccinated,” said Mike Zelek, Chatham County Public Health Director. “Thousands of Chatham residents in these groups remain unvaccinated, and we are exhausting our weekly vaccine allocations to work through these groups as quickly as possible. Vaccine supply continues to be the limiting factor, and it is unlikely that we will be able to move to Group 3 as soon as the group becomes eligible per this updated guidance from NC DHHS. That said, we have been working for weeks to prepare for Group 3 vaccinations, including gathering contact information for schools and childcare staff who are interested in receiving the vaccine. In the coming weeks, we will continue to work closely with Chatham County Schools, private and public charter schools, and childcare facilities to plan for these vaccinations.”
The CCPHD has been working with Chatham County Schools as well as private and charter schools in the county throughout the pandemic, providing guidance for safe operations and working with school personnel to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission in school buildings. The department already has a list of more than 1,000 individuals in this group who are ready to get vaccinated, and will work with other vaccine providers in the county to do so when the time comes.
Future Vaccination Events
The CCPHD will continue to conduct large vaccination events that are drive-thru and appointment-only. The next event is scheduled for Monday, February 15th, when the CCPHD is scheduled to administer second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to individuals who received their first doses on January 22nd at the department’s first mass vaccination event at the Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center in Pittsboro. Only second doses will be administered at this event, as the CCPHD has given out all of its current allocation of first doses.
“I continue to be extremely grateful to staff, partners, and volunteers from the Chatham community for their dedication to this vital work,” added Zelek. “It is certainly a labor of love, and without them it would not be possible.”
Given the limited number of doses available, the CCPHD continues to encourage all eligible Chatham residents to consider all options to get the COVID-19 vaccine. There are a growing number of providers in and around Chatham County, including:
- Piedmont Health Services is offering COVID-19 vaccinations to existing and new patients at its clinic sites in Siler City and Moncure as supply allows. To be placed on PHS’ interest list, please visit piedmonthealth.org/how-can-i-be-tested-for-covid19/. Piedmont is also continuing to conduct COVID-19 testing events.
- UNC Health is offering the COVID-19 vaccination for individuals ages 65 and older, including at its site behind Chatham Hospital in Siler City (Medical Office Building) and nearby options such as Chapel Hill. Interested individuals can visit www.unchealthcare.org/schedule or call (984) 215-5485 to schedule an appointment when available.
- Duke Health, based in Durham, is also scheduling vaccinations when available. To learn more, visit www.dukehealth.org/covid-19-update/covid-19-vaccine-update or call (919) 385-0429.
- For a full list of options in North Carolina, visit https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/findyourspot.
It continues to be important for everyone, whether or not they have been vaccinated, to take the following actions to slow the spread of COVID-19:
- Continue to practice the 3 Ws. COVID-19 cases remain high, and avoiding gatherings and wearing a mask continue to be important actions to avoiding infection.
- Get vaccine information from trusted sources, including chathamnc.org/coronavirusvaccine or yourspotyourshot.nc.gov.
- Finally, look out for each other. This has been a stressful year for everyone. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. If you need mental health support, visit www.chathamnc.org/mentalhealth to find a list of resources in the Chatham area.