CHARLOTTE – (Dec. 14, 2020) – In an effort to overcome vaccine hesitancy, Novant Health is partnering with Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles to encourage all community members to get vaccinated as soon as supply allows. The announcement follows recent national polling that shows a large number of citizens will opt out of getting vaccinated, citing concerns ranging from the vaccine being rushed to the vaccine having ulterior motives to its inequitable distribution.
With the procurement and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine imminent, Novant Health and Lyles are calling on community leaders and health care workers to lead by example and make their intentions to get vaccinated known.
“On the heels of a summer fraught with protest and injustice in our black communities, I understand that the mistrust of our public institutions is not just one of legacy, it is rightfully being felt today,” said Jesse Cureton, chief consumer officer of Novant Health. “Yet we need all of our communities to know that we are in the business of saving lives, not doing harm. We will not deceive anyone. We will not discriminate against anyone. The science shows this is an effective and safe way to stop COVID-19 from taking more of our family, friends, and neighbors. We thank the Mayor for using her voice to help us reach our communities who need to hear it most.”
As a member of the North Carolina COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee, Novant Health has been working closely with federal, state, and county officials to develop and align allocation and distribution plans for the vaccine. This includes a four-phase vaccine prioritization framework, which begins with patient-facing health care workers and first responders, long-term health facility workers and residents, as well as adults with more than two chronic conditions. The goal is to get as many people vaccinated as supply allows with all phases designed to ensure effective, efficient, and, most importantly, equitable distribution.
“As a leader, and a person of color, I believe it’s important to declare my commitment to get the vaccine because I am confident that it is safe and will be effective,” said Lyles. “And while I will get my vaccine after healthcare workers, first responders, and our community’s most vulnerable citizens, I am making my plans known today in an effort to help others have the same confidence in the science.”
Novant Health currently is approved to distribute vaccines at three of its facilities: Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center, Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center, and Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center. Once distribution progresses, Novant Health plans to administer vaccines from its screening assessment centers and community access clinics to meet needs in our underserved communities
In its first allocation, Novant Health will receive nearly 7,000 doses from the state, which determines supply distribution. The health system recently purchased ultralow freezers with the capacity to store at least 500,000 doses and has the additional capacity to store more than 1 million doses at different temperature levels. Community members looking for more information about how, when, and where to get vaccinated should visit NovantHealth.org/Coronavirus for more information.