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COVID-19 vaccine has arrived in northeastern North Carolina

On Monday, Dec. 21, Dare County Department of Health and Human Services received its first shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

The county’s health department will continue vaccinating frontline health care workers for the next couple of weeks. Phase 1a workers are those whose duties put them at higher risk of exposure to COVID-19.

“We have been working hard to prepare for this and are excited to add this new tool to our COVID-19 defense toolbox,” reports the Dare bulletin issued Dec. 22, 2021. “In time, everyone who wishes to receive a vaccine will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccinations at no cost. We ask for your patience as we work through the prioritization groups that we are required to follow according to NC DHHS.”

COVID-19 vaccine requires two doses. The second dose is administered 21 days or 28 days after the first dose, depending on whether the first dose was Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

Other area agencies have received shipments of vaccine.

On Dec. 17, Vidant Health received its first shipment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Vidant received 3,900 doses, which was administered to frontline team members across the system.

“The vaccine offers incredible hope for our health care workers, families, friends, neighbors and the world,” said Dr. Michael Waldrum, CEO, Vidant Health. “While this is a monumental step in overcoming the pandemic, we do not yet know when the vaccine will be available to the broader community. It remains vitally important that the community helps us stop the spread now by wearing a mask, social distancing and washing hands often. We need your help.”

Health director at Martin-Tyrrell-Washington Health District Wes Gray reported on Dec. 23 that the district has received 300 doses of the Moderna vaccine for the three-county region. Washington County and Tyrrell County health departments are allocated 100 doses each. Vaccinations of headquarters staff started Wednesday and further distribution will start Dec.30. On Dec. 22, Albemarle Regional Health Services (ARHS) received its first doses of the COVID -19 vaccine.

The agency provides health services in Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Gates, Hertford, Pasquotank and Perquimans.

“We have truly reached a turning point in this pandemic response,” said R. Battle Betts, Jr., MPA, ARHS health director.

“Vaccines have saved countless lives and are a primary public health strategy for disease prevention. I am extremely thankful for the efforts of our public and private partners and this vaccine that is proving to be well over 90% effective. It’s time to roll up our sleeves so we can turn the tide on this pandemic,” said Betts.

During this initial Phase, ARHS is coordinating directly with agencies and providers who meet the Phase 1 criteria. The CDC and NCDHHS have outlined the criteria.

“Vaccine distribution will adjust over time as the number of available doses increases, moving from limited to broader populations in a phased approach,” states Betts. “At this point, we don’t know how long it will take to move through the phases of distribution or what quantities of vaccine will be received at what time, therefore we will provide updates throughout this campaign and provide additional information on how to receive the vaccine when it is your turn. We thank you all in advance for your patience and for your efforts in this pandemic response.”

Hyde County received 100 doses of the Moderna vaccine on Tuesday, Dec. 22. Vaccinations will begin on Tuesday, Dec. 29.

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