Appointments Full Ahead Of More Charlotte-Area Mass Vaccinations This Weekend
The Charlotte region will host at least two more mass vaccination events this weekend in an effort to speed up the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, but most appointments are already booked.
From Friday through Sunday, residents with appointments can receive their shots at Bank of America Stadium through a partnership between Atrium Health, Honeywell, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Tepper Sports and Entertainment. The partnership expects to administer about 19,000 first doses, according to a release, and appointments were already full as of Thursday afternoon.
Meanwhile, the Salisbury Veterans Affair Medical Center hopes to vaccinate 1,000 veterans on Saturday and Sunday at a separate mass vaccination event. The event is by appointment only and will be held in the Building 6 gym this weekend from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The VA said in a release on Thursday that VA health care teams have called veterans to schedule these weekend appointments.
Last weekend, more than 16,000 people signed up for drive-through vaccine clinic appointments at the Charlotte Motor Speedway before organizers had even opened the gates on Friday.
Health departments in Mecklenburg and Gaston counties have been opening up appointments to residents in three-week increments and health officials say the slots quickly fill up. Many other hospitals and health departments in the state received a reduced number or no new doses this week, forcing them to cancel hundreds of vaccination appointments, because doses were routed toward large-scale vaccination events, The News and Observer reported.
North Carolina is currently vaccinating residents in the first two groups of its recently-modified vaccine plan: health care workers, residents and staff of long-term care facilities like nursing homes and all residents ages 65 and older.
The Associated Press reported that North Carolina expects to receive about 140,000 weekly new first doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines over the next three weeks starting next week. The 16% increase in supply from the Biden administration represents an additional 20,000 doses.