Goldston, NC – The Chatham County Public Health Department partnered with Roberts Chapel Missionary Baptist Church and other community agencies to vaccinate 210 people against COVID-19 during a drive-thru event Friday, February 5, 2021, in Goldston.
The CCPHD has been working with Roberts Chapel for three weeks to prepare for the event, starting with a Community Resource Hub led by the Chatham Health Alliance that included adding eligible community members to the vaccine database. The CCPHD worked closely with the Rev. Dr. Joshua Jones Jr., church members, Chatham County Emergency Management, the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, the Goldston Fire Department and several community volunteers to make Friday’s event possible.
“I think it is great when the church can serve an integral role in the community, that we may come alongside people to provide the services and the assistance that they need,” said Rev. Jones, Senior Pastor of Roberts Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. “In this case, we’re talking about the COVID-19 vaccine. I think we should send a message — not only to our seniors, but to everyone — that this is something we all need to do. It helps our immune system to fight COVID-19. This is a great thing that we want to continue until everyone gets the vaccine. I thank God for the opportunity, and I look forward to our continued partnership. I want to give a special thank you to all of our church members who volunteered, including James and Delphine Womack who worked on getting everyone registered.”
“We are so grateful to Roberts Chapel, Rev. Jones, Mr. and Mrs. Womack, and the many volunteers who made this vaccination event possible,” added Chatham County Public Health Director Mike Zelek. “Our staff have worked diligently to make sure the vaccine is accessible to communities across Chatham County, and the success of today’s effort was a testament to their hard work and commitment to equity.”
The NC Department of Health and Human Services recently began allocating additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to providers and counties based on several factors to improve equity in vaccine distribution and ensure access among historically marginalized populations and areas with less access to healthcare. In addition to those who were identified at the Community Resource Hub, staff administered vaccines at the event to individuals from southwest Chatham who signed up through the online vaccine tool or by phone. Those vaccinated are in the groups currently eligible to receive the vaccine (healthcare workers, including staff and volunteers working the vaccination event, and adults ages 65 and older). Individuals who received their first dose of the vaccine were scheduled to receive their second dose in four weeks.
Plans for future CCPHD events are tentative depending on vaccine supply and allocations. The department will receive an additional 200 first doses this week, marking the second batch of the new baseline allocation promised by the state over a three-week period and another 200 doses for the State’s equity-focused allocation. The CCPHD will hold a vaccination event at the Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center in Pittsboro Monday, February 8. The event will be appointment only, and appointments were scheduled through the call center Friday, February 5.
Those who have signed up for the CCPHD’s contact database online or by phone 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. The Public Health Department has received more than 20,000 requests from the public, including more than 15,000 from individuals in Groups 1 and 2, for the vaccine through its Vaccine Information Tool (www.chathamnc.org/vaccinetool) and by phone. The CCPHD’s Info Line (919-545-8323) is live Monday-Thursday, 10 AM to 4PM, and has bilingual staff to respond to questions. For general vaccine questions, please call the NC DHHS Vaccine Helpline at 888-675-4567.
“We know there continue to be many more who are eligible and eager to get the vaccine than there are doses available,” added Zelek. “When we schedule appointments, we are sorry that not all are able to get through and that slots are limited. We know that this is frustrating, and share the hopes of the Chatham community that vaccine supplies will increase in the future.”
The CCPHD also encourages eligible residents to reach out to other vaccine providers in the area for appointments, 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 right away.
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 facebook.com/chathamhealth.