CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In the fight against coronavirus, the pace of vaccination is gaining momentum. Novant Health hosted its first mass vaccination clinic at The Park Expo Center on Saturday. The goal was to vaccinate around 4,000 people.
"It was very well organized," vaccine recipient Walker Coe said.
Novant Health worked with local churches and community leaders to book appointments for those 65 and older, who haven't been able to get the vaccine easily.
Organizers say access for all community members regardless of zip code is a priority.
"There is a disparity of vaccination rates between people of color and the majority population so through these intentional, strategic efforts we are trying to achieve health equity," Novant Health Dr. Jerome Williams said.
According to health officials, Mecklenburg County data shows disparities, Black people lack significantly behind white people in getting the vaccine.
"Minorities in general need not be afraid because this is better than getting covid, we've lost a lot of family members to covid," Earnestine Crossland told WCNC Charlotte.
For the Crossland's getting the vaccine at the Park Expo Center, it was a shot of hope.
"At least I'm not afraid that I'm going to end up dying from covid," Tyrone Crossland said.
"I really want to start being with my grandchildren again," Earnestine Crossland said.
Meanwhile, there's a push to vaccinate Charlotte Mecklenburg School teachers. Novant Health also held an event specifically for CMS employees at McClintock Middle School on Saturday. The goal was to vaccine 165 employees.
This wasn't the end of mass vaccinations in Charlotte --the Spectrum Center, home to the Charlotte Hornets, will also become a mass vaccination clinic next Saturday, Feb. 13.
Those appointments are not open yet because organizers are waiting to see how many doses the state will allocate. Novant Health is helping schedule second-dose appointments for all those who got the vaccine this weekend.