Pittsboro, NC – The Chatham County Public Health Department (CCPHD) and several community partners worked together to vaccinate 407 individuals against COVID-19 on Monday, January 25, 2021, at the Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center in Pittsboro. The drive-thru vaccination clinic was the largest to date led by the Public Health Department, surpassing the 400 doses administered at a January 18 event in the same location.
Those served at the appointment-only event — healthcare personnel who have in-person patient contact and adults ages 65 and older, Groups 1 and 2 of North Carolina’s vaccination prioritization guidance — received their first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine administered by CCPHD nurses. CCPHD staff, community volunteers and representatives from Chatham County Emergency Management, the Chatham County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), the Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center, and Chatham County Sheriff’s Office worked all day to set up the event, vaccinate residents and ensure everyone’s safety.
The clinic involved a group of six different nurses administering the vaccine to individuals in their cars. All who received the vaccine had scheduled appointments at specific times, as is necessary given the limited number of doses available. Medical professionals were on hand to monitor individuals after they received the vaccine. Support staff and volunteers registered individuals, managed traffic, drew vaccine, and organized refreshments for workers.
“Staff and volunteers continue to work so hard together to get the Chatham community vaccinated against COVID-19,” said Chatham County Public Health Director Mike Zelek. “Today’s mass vaccination clinic was a success because of them, with clients getting in and out in around 30 minutes, even with the 15 minutes for medical monitoring after receiving the vaccine.”
Individuals who received their first dose of the vaccine at this event were scheduled to receive their second dose in four weeks. Plans for future events are tentative depending on vaccine supply. The department has given more than 1,500 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with no doses wasted, by utilizing the available vaccine and drawing extra doses from vials when possible. CCPHD is expected to receive 200 first doses of the vaccine this week, while there are currently approximately 20,000 Chatham residents who are eligible to receive the vaccine.
The Public Health Department has received nearly 17,000 requests from the public, including almost 11,000 from individuals in Groups 1 and 2, for the vaccine through its Vaccine Information Tool (chathamnc.org/vaccinetool). Those who have signed up will be contacted by email and/or phone as appointments become available, but the CCPHD asks residents to please be patient due to the extremely limited supply of vaccine relative to the number who are eligible and to reach out to other options, including:
- 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 should 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 https://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.
Residents should be aware that vaccine providers have limited supply and may not have appointments available.
“We will continue to work with our partners to get the vaccine to the Chatham community,” added Zelek. “We are sorry that limited vaccine supply makes this process slower than we would all like, but we will continue to host these clinics as allocations allow and connect residents to additional options in and around Chatham County.”
To learn more about how Chatham County is distributing the COVID-19 vaccine, visit chathamnc.org/coronavirusvaccine. The Chatham County Public Health Department can be found online at chathamnc.org/publichealth and face