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Carolina Pharmacy eager to help broaden range of COVID-19 vaccine distribution

As the vaccine rollout continues, several pharmacies in North and South Carolina are still waiting to get vaccines to help with distribution.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As people race to get to mass vaccinations around the Carolinas, a number of pharmacies are still eager to get doses of the vaccine, too.

They want to have them in order to help broaden the range of distribution, putting more shots in arms in less time. 

Carolina Pharmacy is one of them. You can get tested for COVID-19 at their pharmacies, but you can't get a preventative vaccine yet.

"It's been busy," Vic Patel, who is the owner of Carolina Pharmacy and a pharmacist himself, said. "A lot of people have been using pharmacies than before obviously because of COVID."

RELATED: Group 4 COVID vaccinations in North Carolina: Here's who is eligible

The company, which has multiple pharmacies across the Carolinas, is already preparing for the day they'll get vaccines. 

"[We're] getting the process started, to kind of help the community get back to normalcy," he said. 

Patel says staffing, scheduling and paperwork are the biggest logistics to figure out. He's already working on plans so he's ready to go when he gets the call. 

It's not a surprise if you've tried getting a vaccine: supply hasn't kept up with demand. 

Only 11.9% of North Carolina's population is fully vaccinated as of March 15, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

As supply goes up, and when they get one of the vaccines, Carolina Pharmacy is hopeful to give out a couple hundred of them at a time. 

"Just being able to get our patients taken care of and the community in a much more orderly way," Patel added. 

RELATED: Find out what vaccine group you're in

Mecklenburg County Health Department has already given four different pharmacies Pfizer or Moderna vaccines in an effort to expand distribution while boosting trust in underserved communities. 

The pharmacies that received them were RX Pharmacy, Pineville Pharmacy, Premier Pharmacy, and four Harris Teeter Pharmacy locations.

Patel said Carolina Pharmacy has their paperwork submitted and is ready for their green light in order to continue helping out with the COVID-19 response.

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.


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