PINEHURST, N.C. -- FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst, local primary care providers and the Moore County Health Department are scheduling COVID-19 vaccinations for eligible community members this week as part of Operation FirstShot. FirstHealth and the Health Department will begin vaccination clinics next week.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced in late December an updated vaccination plan that aligns with new federal recommendations. The next phase of vaccinations will open in groups, starting with Phase 1B Group 1: anyone 75 years old or older regardless of medical condition or living situation.
FirstHealth’s primary care clinics and other Moore County clinics are currently calling their 75-year-old and older patient population to schedule them for vaccination clinics at the Fair Barn in Pinehurst.
People 75 and older may also pre-register anytime at www.moorecountync.gov/shot or by calling 910-947-SHOT (7468) from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., seven days a week. Pre-registration is also available anytime in Spanish at www.moorecountync.gov/vacuna or by calling 910-947-7468 and following the Spanish prompts. Individuals can then expect a phone call from a Health Department representative to schedule a vaccination appointment for an upcoming vaccine clinic being held at the Health Department in Carthage on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, or Saturdays for the month of January and beyond.
Those eligible in Phase 1B are required to have an appointment to receive the vaccine. FirstHealth vaccination clinics are only for patients who have scheduled appointments. Due to volume and vaccine availability, FirstHealth’s vaccine clinics will not be able to accommodate walk-ins.
Patients will be scheduled for their second dose of the vaccine after they receive their first dose. Second doses will be scheduled 21 or 28 days after the first dose is administered depending on the type of vaccine the person receives.
“We know that COVID-19 represents a real risk to all residents, but especially those who are older. And with cases continuing to rise, accelerating our efforts to deliver vaccines is essential,” FirstHealth CEO Mickey Foster said. “We look forward to collaborating with partners throughout our service area to get vaccine doses to those most at risk.”
“During this dangerous time in our nation’s history, I strongly encourage anyone 75 years of age or older to take advantage of this opportunity to protect themselves and their loved ones by being vaccinated with this safe, highly effective and free vaccine,” said Moore County Health Director, Robert Wittmann.
FirstHealth expects to vaccinate 500 residents per clinic day using the Pfizer vaccine product. The Moore County Health Department expects to vaccinate up to 1,100 individuals per week, depending on the availability of vaccine.
FirstHealth and Moore County Health Department officials stressed that vaccine supplies are extremely limited. Officials stated they have the capacity to vaccinate more people but are limited to the weekly allotment of vaccine received from the State. FirstHealth and the Health Department will continue to follow guidelines from the NC DHHS and will begin to vaccinate additional populations beyond the 75+ age group once the State moves to the next phase.
“We know this process may not be as fast as we’d all like, but our team of professionals is committed to getting COVID-19 vaccines to eligible people who want them,” Foster said. “We ask the public to be patient and know that the medical community is doing everything we can to administer the vaccine efficiently and effectively.”
For more details about vaccination clinics and Phase 1B at FirstHealth, please visit www.firsthealth.org/shot.
Do you have additional vaccine questions? Visit the NC Department of Health and Human Services website for more details. Also, read this message from FirstHealth Infectious Disease Physician Gretchen Arnoczy, M.D., about why she’s excited and looking forward to rolling her sleeve up.