Macon County’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts just got a much-needed shot in the arm.
On Feb. 19, Macon County Public Health got word that its weekly allocation of doses distributed by the state had been bumped up to 500 per week, with an additional 1,170 doses made available in a “special event” allotment.
“These additional doses will be used over the next week (Feb. 22-26) to increase the amount of available appointments to those who are eligible,” MCPH said in a statement. “Individuals who are currently on the waiting list are being contacted to schedule appointments.”
As of Tuesday, Feb. 23, there were about 5,200 people on the MCPH waiting list to receive first doses. The changes in dosage availability do not affect those who are currently scheduled for second doses.
MCPH said that a small portion of the vaccines received are going to vaccinate homebound individuals who live in Macon County, which is being coordinated through Senior Services and Emergency Services. MCPH is also working with area partners to reach out to Latino community members who fall into the 65-plus age group.
People in Groups 1 and 2 – health care workers, long-term care staff and residents, and all North Carolinians ages 65 and older – are currently eligible for vaccinations. Beginning on Wednesday, Feb. 24, vaccinations will be available to school and childcare staff members.
To register to receive the vaccine and to be contacted when appointments for your group are available, call MCPH at 828-524-1500. The vaccine call center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, until further notice.
As of Monday, Feb. 22, MCPH reported 58 active positive cases, down from 103 reported on Feb. 15. Three more people died from COVID-related causes during that time, bringing total pandemic fatalities to 30.
The health department reported 800 available doses as of Feb. 22, with a total of 4,378 vaccines given by MCPH.
Western Carolina University’s vaccine clinic is up and running, but doses are currently gong to support the Jackson County health department to reduce its wait list. That process is expected to be completed in two to three weeks, at which time the clinic will begin scheduling new appointments.
Go to facctr.wcu.edu/coronavirus/vaccine-info.aspx to updates on vaccination scheduling at WCU.