CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Thursday, a few Harris Teeter pharmacies in the Charlotte-area started administering COVID-19 vaccines. It’s another much-needed option as the number of people eligible to get the vaccine gets even bigger.
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine appointment can feel like winning the lottery. There’s only so much vaccine and the health department and hospital systems already have long waitlists.
“The first time I tried to do the StarMed, Novant and Atrium but unfortunately there weren't any appointments available,” said Paige Stryker. She works for Loaves and Fishes and is a frontline essential worker eligible for the vaccine under Group 3.
As more people become eligible to get the shot, getting an appointment becomes more competitive. Some positive signs that vaccine distribution is gaining momentum, more places, like Walgreens and Harris Teeter are administering the vaccines.
“When I finally got that confirmation email from Harris Teeter I kind of cried," Stryker said. "I'm just so excited to move forward and escape what we've all been dealing with for the past year."
The no-cost vaccination is available at select Harris Teeter Pharmacies by appointment only while supplies last. Appointments can be scheduled using Harris Teeter’s online vaccine appointment scheduler.
Those who want to get vaccinated through the Mecklenburg County Health Department at Bojangles' Coliseum will have to wait until next Wednesday, March 10. Those appointments opened up this morning, the county adding some 400 more each day through the end of the month.
Fortunately, there were no reports of the website crashing this time and some say they were able to easily get appointments.
“I think it’s because I just decided to try at 6:30 in the morning and I lucked out,” Roberta Cannon said.
On Wednesday, the county received its shipment of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. They'll split the 10,000 doses with Atrium and Novant Health.
Both hospital systems are offering appointments to Group 3 members as soon as they are able to snag a time slot. Some of it has to do with timing, but the health systems are adding more appointments when supply allows. They say people should keep refreshing the page and check back often.
Harris Teeter locations in South Carolina are also scheduling appointments. Officials expect to receive more vaccines and eventually have more stores giving them out.
Have a relative or friend in another state and want to know when they can get vaccinated? Visit NBC News' Plan Your Vaccine site to find out about each state's vaccine rollout plan.