Guilford County commissioners and county health officials are ecstatic that the federal government is opening up a mass COVID-19 vaccination site in Greensboro.
Now, those same officials are asking people in the community to use the heck out of it.
In Guilford County, as elsewhere, the supply of coronavirus vaccines falls way short of demand – and this large federally run site will take some of that pressure off of local vaccine efforts.
The mass “COVID-19 Community Vaccination Center” is being set up in Greensboro at Four Seasons Town Centre – in the Dillard’s area – and it’s now taking online appointments for vaccinations. Soon the site will allow phone registration.
The web address is different than the one people are used to: For vaccinations at this location, appointments can be made by visiting GSOmassvax.org.
Starting Monday, March 8, a phone-in option will also be available. (New appointments will become available on Monday for those people who aren’t able to access the web-based registration tool.)
These vaccines are for anyone in a currently eligible group, based on North Carolina’s vaccine prioritization. Right now, the state is offering vaccinations for people in “Groups 1, 2 and 3,” including “frontline essential workers, people age 65 and older, health care workers and long-term care residents.” Detailed information about each vaccine group can be found online in English at YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov or in Spanish at vacunate.nc.gov.
The COVID-19 Community Vaccination Center is organized and operated by the state. It’s staffed with mostly federal personnel – mainly those from the US Department of Defense.
State officials have been trying to make sure that minorities and those who live in medically underserved communities get equal access to the shots – and this site is expected to help the state continue its effort to vaccinate more “marginalized and underserved communities.”
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 and Prevention (CDC).
The site 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 as well as service at an indoor clinic.
The new site will be supported with resources from Guilford County and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. The support will also come from the Division of Emergency Management, the North Carolina National Guard, and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Support services include “logistics, information technology, data entry, emergency medical services and security.”
Here’s the reason Guilford County was blessed with this additional site; according to a press release announcing the opening, “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, historical COVID-19 community impacts and the current rate and pace of equitable community vaccinations.”