Tri-county area to begin Covid-19 vaccination of seniors 75 and up [Free]

New Hanover and Brunswick County will begin Phase 1B of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout this week. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy New Hanover County)
New Hanover and Brunswick County will begin Phase 1B of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout this week. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy New Hanover County)

Update: As of Wednesday afternoon, Covid-19 vaccine appointments in New Hanover County are fully booked.

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — People 75 and older may begin receiving the Covid-19 vaccine as early as Wednesday in Brunswick and Pender counties and Thursday in New Hanover County, health officials announced Tuesday afternoon.

The vaccine will be made available to those 75 and older regardless of medical condition and free of charge.


Related: ‘Communications snafu’ briefly clouds vaccination effort, now back on track

New Hanover

New Hanover County will transition from Phase 1A, which includes vaccinating frontline healthcare workers and nursing home staff and residents, to Phase 1B on Thursday, Jan. 7. Although Phase 1B includes both older adults and frontline essential workers, the county is only opening up vaccinations to adults 75 and older at this time. Vaccinations for other groups in Phase 1B will become available at a later date, according to a county press release Tuesday.

Since the county administered the area’s first dose of the Moderna vaccine to a longtime health department nurse Dec. 22, it has provided more than 2,900 doses in total. Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines may be administered in the upcoming days.

Though the first batch of vaccine was intended for groups in Phase 1A, a so-called “communications snafu” lead to some people in the Phase 1B groups receiving it last week.

Advancement through each phase is dependent upon vaccine availability and demand.

Those eligible to receive the vaccine in both Phase 1A and in the first group of Phase 1B must call the county’s Covid-19 call center at 910-798-6800 to schedule an appointment.

A driver’s license is not required to determine age, according to a county spokesperson. Residency in New Hanover County is not required to obtain a vaccine if an individual meets criteria outlined in Phase 1A or in the first group of Phase 1B.

The call center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Vaccinations will be administered at two locations:

Brunswick

In Brunswick County, vaccines will be made available to those 75 and older who do not currently live in a congregate living facility. Vaccinations will begin as early as 9 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 6.

The county had only 100 appointments available as of Tuesday, “so it is not possible to vaccinate everyone at once,” it announced in a news release.

If appointments are booked and the county’s supply is expended, officials encourage eligible residents to call back another day or week. Additional shipments of vaccine are expected weekly, according to the news release.

“While we only have a small number of vaccines available, we wanted to open up to Phase 1b Group 1 to start the process of vaccinating this group as soon as possible,” Health and Human Services director David Stanley said in a release. “We expect to receive more doses from the state next week. We stand ready to vaccinate more and partner with other providers to help vaccinate as more doses of vaccine are sent to our county.”

Eligible individuals are encouraged to call the public health call line at 910-253-2339. When prompted, select the option for vaccine information to schedule an appointment.

As of Tuesday, Brunswick County does not yet have a date set to vaccinate individuals that fall in the later groups of Phase 1B — frontline essential health workers. Vaccinating the elderly group in Phase 1B will likely take several weeks, according to the county.

Pender

Pender County announced Tuesday evening its Phase 1B vaccinations were underway.

Seniors aged 75 and older can schedule appointments on Tuesdays in Burgaw and on Thursdays in the Hampstead Annex as long as supplies last.

Call 910-259-1230 to schedule an appointment with Pender County public health officials.

Latest Covid-19 numbers

North Carolina
Total cases: 575,396
Deaths: 6,996
Brunswick
Total cases to date: 4,739
Deaths: 74
New Hanover
Cases to date: 10,093
Deaths: 94
Pender
Cases to date: 2,993
Deaths: 22


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