Gov. Cooper announces new center that will vaccinate more than 20K per week

Photo: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

There’s more good news on the pandemic front today. In addition to the hoped for approval of Johnson & Johnson’s one shot vaccine, North Carolina continues to make headway in rapidly improving vaccine distribution. Today, Gov. Roy Cooper announced that North Carolina would be home to a new federally supported community vaccination center that will be able to serve very large numbers.

This from a press release distributed by Cooper’s office:

The FEMA-supported COVID-19 Community Vaccination Center will open at Four Seasons Town Centre in Greensboro on March 10 and will remain open for eight weeks. It will operate seven days a week with the capacity to provide up to 3,000 vaccinations per day, with options for drive-thru service in the parking lot and walk-in service in the space formerly occupied by Dillard’s department store.

To reach more marginalized and underserved communities, the main vaccination center at Four Seasons Town Centre will support additional sites and mobile vaccination clinics in communities of need in Guilford and surrounding counties.

The federal government will provide the center’s vaccine supply, which will be in addition to North Carolina’s weekly allotment from the Centers for Disease Control.

“Thousands of North Carolinians will be able to access vaccines as result of this local, state, and federal partnership. We appreciate everyone working together to focus on getting vaccines to our underserved communities,” said NC Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D….

“Greensboro is pleased to play a vital role in vaccinating the general public,” said Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan. “We look forward to working with the Biden, Cooper and Guilford County health departments as we continue to focus on vaccination, prevention and reducing the spread of COVID19. Through those coordinated efforts we can keep businesses in business and send our students back to school full time.”

…The site will be staffed by federal personnel, mostly from the Department of Defense. It will be supported with resources and personnel from Guilford County, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, to include the Division of Emergency Management and the North Carolina National Guard, and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Support services will include logistics, information technology, data entry, emergency medical services and security.

Appointments will be required for vaccination at the site and will be available through a central system and through community partners to ensure access among marginalized populations. Information on scheduling appointments will be released in the coming days.

Guilford County was selected for a vaccination site by FEMA and the CDC as an area with significant underserved or marginalized populations, using a range of criteria including the Centers for Disease Control Social Vulnerability Index (CDC SVI), historical COVID-19 community impacts and the current rate and pace of equitable community vaccinations. The county has a population of about 523,000 residents, of which 49% are minorities. About 11% of county residents have received first dose vaccinations and 5.6% have received second doses.

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