CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There’s a major effort to ramp up the vaccine process in Mecklenburg County.
WCNC Charlotte has learned the county’s department of public health is partnering with the provider StarMed in Charlotte to help administer second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
StarMed is now recruiting and training dozens of nurses to join the effort next week at Bojangles' Coliseum.
WCNC Charlotte talked to one of the nurses who joined the effort. Jitka Prokesova said she begins orientation at Bojangles' Coliseum on Tuesday, and on Monday, she will start administering second doses to people. She said she’s wanted to help for a long time.
Prokesova remembers seeing a letter from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services earlier in the pandemic calling on healthcare workers to step up.
“I was just sewing masks and making face shields,” said Prokesova.
However, Prokesova said she wanted to do more to help with her free time. She currently works remotely for a company on the West Coast, as a nurse clinical documentation specialist.
“So when the vaccine finally got ready, I was all excited because there was something I could actually do physically here,” said Prokesova.
Prokesova is among at least 20 nurses recruited by StarMed to help administer second doses, the company said. The partnership with the Mecklenburg County Department of Public Health is scheduled to begin Monday at the Bojangles Coliseum where many people are receiving their first doses.
“They are also going to administer the doses at Bojangles," said Dr. Meg Sullivan, medical director for the Mecklenburg County Dept. of Public Health. "It will just be in a separate location than what we’re using."
“We need an army of people who can administer it,” said Prokesova.
This week, the county’s department of public health is expecting an additional 1,900 doses. Health officials will be administering second doses to first responders this week, before next week’s effort begins.
“For every dose we give, we also have to be very prepared for a second dose,” said Dr. Sullivan.
Prokesova is trying to spread the word to other nurses about the new vaccine effort.
“There are other nurses like me out there who have time to help,” she said. “Whatever it takes for me to get the vaccine in people's arms.”
The StarMed CEO said they’re still looking for many more nurses to join the vaccine effort. If you’re interested, you can find more information on their website at this link.