Today, Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen visited the Piedmont Health SeniorCare center in Pittsboro to see patients in the Chatham County community receive the vaccine. Piedmont Health SeniorCare is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) Program focused on providing care to underserved communities.
“From the beginning, we have focused on distributing vaccines quickly and equitably,” Governor Cooper said. “The vaccine is still in short supply, but we are working to ensure that all North Carolinians have a spot to get their shot.”
Governor Cooper and state health officials have prioritized equity and speed in their efforts to distribute vaccines, including by providing specific outreach to underserved communities. The state is encouraging our hospitals and health departments to partner with trusted community organizations who can host vaccination events at churches, community centers and other places that will be accessible to all North Carolinians.
“Community health centers are the lifeline to health care for thousands of rural and underserved communities. They’ve been frontline partners in providing testing throughout the pandemic and are an important part of the state’s strategy to ensure marginalized residents have access to COVID-19 vaccines,” said Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D.
The state has administered 99.8 percent of first doses received as of January 27, 2021. This week, providers across the state are receiving shipments from the state's allotment of 120,000 vaccine doses. On Monday, President Joe Biden announced that the federal government will increase vaccine shipments to states by 16 percent over the next three weeks to speed up the vaccination process nationwide.
Earlier this week, NCDHHS launched Find My Vaccine Group, an online tool that helps North Carolinians figure out when they will be eligible to receive their vaccine.
"There is nothing more important than getting all of us vaccinated. We can only do this with a fully engaged effort. Piedmont Health Services ( PHS) is committed to work with all in our communities to achieve full vaccinations. No one person or organization can come close to achieving this important goal. PHS is proud to partner with many to achieve this goal including NCDHHS, UNC Healthcare, Cone Healthcare, County Health Departments, NCCHCA and NCPACE to name just a few of our partners," said Brian Toomey, Chief Executive Officer of Piedmont Health Services. "Today, we are honored to host Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen to highlight the effective local partnership of UNC Healthcare, Chatham County Health Department and Piedmont Health Services in reaching all in our community. Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen continue to show leadership needed during this pandemic - Mission-driven, Focused, Inclusive, Flexible, Committed, Caring. We are confident that they will get North Carolina through this pandemic."
To allow for proper distancing and safety protocols, coverage of this event was pooled in coordination with the North Carolina Press Association.