Pittsboro, NC – The Chatham County Public Health Department (CCPHD) will continue to vaccinate individuals in Groups 1 and 2 — health care workers with in-person patient contact and adults ages 65 and older — while beginning COVID-19 vaccinations with school and childcare workers ages 50 and older starting February 26.
On Wednesday, February 10th, 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 24, 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.
With increases to its allocations expected next week and additional vaccine providers in Chatham County offering vaccinations, the CCPHD will begin vaccinating Chatham PreK-12 school staff and child care workers who are 50 years of age and older on Friday, February 26. The CCPHD will continue to use the majority of its allocation to vaccinate individuals in Groups 1 and 2 of the state’s prioritization guidance. Next week, pending the receipt of its scheduled allocation, the department will schedule appointments with individuals in the CCPHD vaccine database who work in the county’s public, public charter and private schools and child care centers. That database already has nearly 1,000 individuals from these facilities, with around 40% ages 50 and older.
“We have been working closely with Chatham County Schools, public charter and private schools, and child care facilities for several weeks to prepare for these vaccinations,” said Chatham County Public Health Director Mike Zelek. “Thanks to these relationships, we will be able to hit the ground running. At the same time, we will continue to vaccinate healthcare workers and adults ages 65 and older. Because of increases in our allocations from the State and more options to get the vaccine in Chatham, we do not anticipate the pace of vaccinations to these individuals will slow as we phase in this new group.”
“We are excited that our educators will have the opportunity to receive vaccinations soon, and we appreciate the Chatham County Public Health Department taking steps to meet the needs of the entire community,” added Chatham County Interim Superintendent Dr. Randy Bridges.
For each of the next three weeks, the CCPHD is slated to receive 600 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, up from 400 doses. Planning is underway for events to allocate the 1,000 doses the department will receive next week, including 400 first doses the department expected to receive this week but have not yet arrived due to weather-related shipping delays.
The process to phase in Group 3 is similar to Group 2, when adults ages 75 and older (and soon after ages 65 and older) became eligible as healthcare workers continued to be vaccinated.
“Our child care teachers and staff have been working hard throughout this pandemic, putting themselves on the line to support essential workers and maintain stability for our youngest children,” stated Genevieve Megginson, Executive Director of the Chatham County Partnership for Children. “Like our school teachers, we need to protect them with the vaccine as soon as possible!”
Once the allocations are received, vaccination events will be scheduled at the Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center in Pittsboro. The next three planned vaccination events are as follows:
- February 22: Second doses for Groups 1 and 2
- February 26: First doses for Groups 1 and 2 and school and childcare staff ages 50 and older
- March 1: First and second doses for Groups 1 and 2, and first doses for school and childcare staff ages 50 and older
- Future vaccination events will continue to include individuals in Groups 1 and 2, as well as school and childcare staff younger than 50 years old.
According to the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) COVID-19 vaccination dashboard, 13,777 first doses and 6,813 second doses of the vaccine had been administered to Chatham County residents as of noon on Friday, February 19th. The percentage of Chatham County residents who have received the first dose of vaccine, 18.5%, is among the highest in the state.
The racial/ethnic breakdown for first doses administered by the CCPHD is as follows: 73% White non-Hispanic/Latinx, 17% Black/African-American, 3.8% Hispanic/Latinx, 3.4% Asian and 4.1% other or unknown. The CCPHD has administered 71% of its total doses to individuals age 65 and older, who make up nearly a quarter of the Chatham County population. The racial/ethnic makeup of Chatham adults ages 65 and older is: 84% White non-Hispanix/Latinx, 12% Black/African-American, 2.4% Hispanic/Latinx, and 1.3% Asian.
For more vaccination data, go here.
As of Monday, February 15, the CCPHD had administered 3,061 total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and all of its first doses — 2,337 first doses and 724 second doses.
The department also shared the following updates:
- On Monday, the CCPHD administered 390 second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine during a clinic event at the Chatham County Agriculture & Conference Center in Pittsboro. The department was joined by partners including Chatham County Emergency Management, the Chatham Community Emergency Response Team, the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office and members of the NC National Guard. The CCPHD is thankful for all of these partners and their efforts to make each of these events a success.
- Members of the NC National Guard will continue to support the CCPHD’s vaccination efforts in the weeks ahead.
- On Saturday, February 20th, the CCPHD will be participating in a Facebook Live event with El Vínculo Hispano/The Hispanic Liaison for a conversation in Spanish with Dr. Michael Herce, Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the UNC School of Medicine. This joint effort with UNC Health and El Vínculo Hispano/The Hispanic Liaison will focus on providing Chatham County’s Hispanic/Latinx community with information about the vaccine, who is eligible and where to get the vaccine. Attendees will also be able to ask questions. The event starts at 4 p.m. on El Vínculo Hispano/The Hispanic Liaison’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/evhnc.
Chatham County also has a new COVID-19 vaccine provider, Siler City Pharmacy in Siler City. To request a vaccination appointment, visit silercitypharmacy.com/vaccine-appointments/ or call (919) 663-5541.
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. In addition to Siler City Pharmacy, other providers include:
- 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 unchealthcare.org/schedule or call (984) 215-5485 to schedule an appointment when available.
- Walgreens, which has multiple locations in and around Chatham County. Visit walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid-19.
- Duke Health, based in Durham, is also scheduling vaccinations when available. To learn more, visit dukehealth.org/covid-19-update/covid-19-vaccine-update or call (919) 385-0429.
- For a full list of options in North Carolina, visit 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 chathamnc.org/mentalhealth to find a list of resources in the Chatham area.