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See the latest news and updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

U.S. Health Secretary Visits Charlotte COVID Vaccine Clinic

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Claire Donnelly
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper tour a vaccine site at Charlotte's Transit Center.

Fluorescent lights buzzed as U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra held an impromptu press conference on Wednesday in a corner of Charlotte’s Transit Center, next to a kiosk for cell phone retailer Boost Mobile.

“We’ll probably take a couple questions but if we last any longer we’re going to have to buy a phone or something,” Becerra joked to the group of reporters gathered at the transit center.

Becerra, flanked by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, state health secretary Mandy Cohen, Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles and roughly a dozen other public officials, had just finished a brief tour of a COVID-19 vaccine clinic set up inside the transit center. He was in town Wednesday to meet with state and community leaders.

“It is great to see a vaccination site where the people are,” Becerra said. “That is perhaps the greatest thing about this is that you don’t have to come to us, we will come to you to get vaccinated.”

There wasn’t any news or major announcement at the event — it was designed to encourage people to get vaccinated. North Carolina continues to lag behind the nationwide vaccination rate. Statewide, 46% of the total population has received at least one dose. Across the U.S., the vaccination rate is 55%.

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