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Haywood Health begins COVID vaccinations

Jeanine Harris, Preparedness Coordinator, Public Health Education Specialist at HHSA was among the first to be vaccinated today. "I am so proud and fortunate to be part of public health history," she said. Jeanine Harris, Preparedness Coordinator, Public Health Education Specialist at HHSA was among the first to be vaccinated today. "I am so proud and fortunate to be part of public health history," she said.

Haywood County Health and Human Services Agency has begun distribution of its first allotment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. 

 

About 1,000 doses of the vaccine were delivered in this first allotment. In accordance with CDC guidance, the first doses will be administered to public health employees and staff.  Next up will be the largest group included in this allotment — nurses, doctors, technicians, and staff of doctors’ offices who live in Haywood County, followed by home health workers and the people they care for.

People working at dental offices, pharmacies, and funeral homes will also be included in this round.

“It is important to vaccinate these front-line workers as early as possible since they may potentially be used in the future to administer the vaccine to the general public. The next phase will focus on the citizens in the age groups that are the most susceptible and who have suffered the severest illnesses, those over age 75,” said Interim Health Director Garron Bradish.

The health department expects to vaccinate an average of 80 people per day, over four days in this first week, while maintaining its usual functions of providing health care services and education. Over the next two weeks, this number will increase to 100 per day.

Beginning the week of Jan. 18, 2021, first responders, such as EMS, fire, and police will have their turn. This group will be the last covered under this allotment of 1,000 vaccines. 

It is not yet known when the next allotment will arrive and how many doses it will include, but plans are underway now to prioritize which groups it will cover once more details are available. 

Vaccination of long-term care facility residents also began this week in Haywood, administered separately through Walgreens and CVS. Silver Bluff and Maggie Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation have been hit hard with COVID-19 and they were among some of the first to be vaccinated in this group.

As of now, all available doses have been allotted to the specific groups named in this release and everyone on the lists to be vaccinated have been notified. As more doses become available, the health department will continue to work down the priority list in the order determined by the CDC.

To find your spot in line visit: https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vaccines

At each step of the way,  Haywood County Health and Human Services will provide updates and plenty of advance notice to make sure that everyone who wants to be vaccinated will have their chance.

Key Points about the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • The vaccine is tested, safe, and effective

  • You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine

  • There will be limited availability at first and more widely available over time.

  • The vaccine will be provided free of charge to everyone that wants it.

  • Two doses are needed for maximum immunity.

  • There is no vaccine mandate.

  • Continuing the 3Ws will be critical until the vaccine is widely taken

 
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