CHARLOTTE, N.C. — This week, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says it'll be ready to move into the next phase of vaccines, Phase 1B. Health officials say there is a lot that goes into pulling this off, and are asking people for patience as the process moves forward.
"This is a complex process,” Governor Roy Cooper previously said.
Though the process of getting people vaccinated has been established, NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen said it’s easier said than done.
“I would remind everyone we have very limited supplies at this point,” Cohen said.
Phase 1B is set to begin this week and first includes vaccination availability for everyone over the age of 75, followed by health care workers and essential workers over 50 years old, followed by all other healthcare workers and essential workers under 50.
"If you think about how large a group that is, that’s more than a million folks," Cohen said. "That’s not the number of doses we have here."
To help speed up the process, Mecklenburg County officials say Bojangles' Coliseum will be used starting Monday, Jan. 4, to continue the 1A group vaccines.
"We are going to make sure we are ramping up and improving our operations as we go,” Cohen said.
Governor Cooper is asking everyone who is eligible to understand it may take time.
"We ask people to be as patient as you can,” Gov. Cooper said.
Mecklenburg County officials told WCNC Charlotte they plan to announce more specifics on the distribution timeline at Bojangles' Coliseum in the coming days.
Alexander County Phase 1B vaccines
The Alexander County Health Department has received notice from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) that they can begin Phase 1b – Group 1 of the state’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan on Wednesday, January 6. The health department has received more than 2,000 doses of the vaccine.
Phase 1b – Group 1 will allow those ages 75 and older to receive the vaccine, regardless of health condition. Vaccination clinics are scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (January 6-8) at the health department and on Thursday, January 7 at the Alexander Senior Center. Appointments are required to receive the free vaccination.
A new COVID-19 vaccine hotline (828-352-7724) has been established to allow the public to make appointments more easily. If there is no answer, citizens should leave a message with their name and phone number, and a staff member will return their call as soon as possible to arrange an appointment date and time.