CHARLOTTE – Questions are rolling in now that we’ve entered the early, hectic days of COVID-19 vaccine distribution. On Jan. 6, Novant Health began administering the COVID-19 vaccine to its first patients – people ages 75 and older – in keeping with the North Carolina state distribution plan.
The first thing to know: Supplies are limited. Expect delays as shipments make their way across the country. As distribution plans and details will evolve, you’ll find the latest up-to-date information at this site: NovantHealth.org.
1. Novant Health patients for the moment, in Winston-Salem and Charlotte; open to anyone in Brunswick County
Because of limited availability, the COVID-19 vaccine is available by appointment only for Novant Health patients with a primary care provider in the Winston-Salem and Charlotte areas. There is no charge to the patient who gets the vaccine.
In Brunswick County, community members ages 75 and older who are interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine need to sign up for a MyChart account. Community members eligible at this time for vaccination in Brunswick County will be notified through their MyChart account, through which they can then schedule their vaccination appointment. Recipients do not need to be affiliated with a specific healthcare system to sign up for MyChart or to receive a vaccination. Due to limited vaccine availability, vaccinations will be by appointment only and at a centralized location in Brunswick County.
2. Starting with ages 75+
Because supply is limited, there is a phased rollout to the public. In line with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services guidelines, people 75 and older – regardless of health status or living situation – are the first community members eligible. Others – including first responders, child care and food workers, adults at increased risk of severe illness, college students, and more – will become eligible as more vaccines are received. We encourage people to be patient, as it’s not yet known when future phases will become eligible for immunization.
3. Check MyChart app, or sign up to start using it
Novant Health is contacting all patients directly when it’s time to schedule an appointment. You will receive a MyChart message with the next steps to get the vaccine. If you do not already have a MyChart account, please register here. This is the most efficient and easiest way to keep up-to-date.
Please note: we will open additional appointments weekly as supply allows. If an appointment is not yet available to you, we encourage you to check back for new messages on MyChart. Thank you for your patience.
A patient 75 or older who does not have access to MyChart or has not received communications can call (855) NH-VAC-4U (855) 648-2248) for scheduling assistance. Patients who are 75 or older who don’t have MyChart or email access will get scheduling information by mail.
4. Starting at centralized locations
Due to limited vaccine availability, Novant Health is only vaccinating at centralized locations in Winston-Salem and Charlotte at the moment. More sites will be added when more vaccine becomes available.
5. Please continue masking and other precautions
While taking special safety precautions for months on end has been difficult, public health experts agree that it’s critical that we all continue to wear face masks, wash our hands frequently and social distance. This includes people who have received both doses of the vaccine. This is the best way to keep those around us safe.