Talks continue to bring mass COVID-19 vaccination sites to the Triangle
Posted February 3, 2021 5:18 p.m. EST
Durham, N.C. — Most people think about getting a vaccine in a hospital, clinic or doctor's office, but what about a parking lot? A mass COVID-19 vaccination site in Charlotte was a success, and county leaders and officials said plans are in the works for mass vaccinations sites in the Triangle.
Last week, 19,000 people were vaccinated at an event at Bank of America stadium in Charlotte.
Durham pharmacist Gita Kwatra kept trying to get the vaccine for herself and her 67-year-old mother Neelam.
"We were on a few waiting lists," described Kwatra.
Kwatra and her mother decided to go to Charlotte where a public/private partnership was hosting a mass vaccination site. They registered online with Atrium Health.
“It was surprisingly the easiest, one of the easiest things I've ever done," said Kwatra.
When they got there, there was a short line to check in and then 30 tables with 9-10 people each ready to administer the vaccine. Kwatra said it was fast, efficient and safe.
"There was never a moment where I was confused, worried or nervous," she added.
Talks are underway in Durham and Wake counties between businesses, county health departments and local health systems to create mass vaccination sites in the Triangle.
A Duke Health spokesperson said they are partnering with Durham County on this effort saying, "Duke Health would oversee the clinical processes for a large vaccination site that is being planned. This would include the distribution, preparation and administration of vaccine, and the monitoring of patients after they’ve received their vaccinations.”
"I'm glad that Durham and the Triangle are having those discussions, because it was really upsetting when we couldn't find a vaccine anywhere, so I think there's a really big need for it in the Triangle," said Kwatra.
The Research Triangle Foundation has said they would be willing to host a large site in Durham.
"You know, we have a lot of the prerequisites for this," said Kwatra. "We have the space, we have the wonderful medical institutions in this area that could lead it."
A PNC Arena spokesperson said talks with Wake County are preliminary at this point and one thing to remember is that you have to bring people back in a few weeks to receive the second dose of the vaccine.
Kwatra said she and her mother already have an appointment in Charlotte on Feb. 28.