WakeMed, Duke and UNC open COVID-19 vaccine clinics for people 75 and older
Posted January 10, 2021 7:02 p.m. EST
Updated January 20, 2021 11:24 a.m. EST
More options are now available for senior citizens 75 and older seeking a COVID-19 vaccine, but supply is still limited.
WakeMed, Duke Health and UNC Health are all offering the vaccine to seniors who fall in group 1 of Phase 1B in North Carolina's distribution plan by appointment only.
An update on Duke's website indicates all appointment times are currently full.
According to Duke, officials will reach out to Duke Health patients in the 75 and older age group using Duke MyChart as appointments become available. If you're not already a Duke Health patient, you can still register for an appointment by signing up for a Duke MyChart account or by calling 919-385-0429 to add your name to a vaccine waitlist.
Duke said the hotline is open each day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., but officials are experiencing high volumes of calls and ask for patience as they work to help everyone.
Once an appointment is made, patients will receive instructions on how to get their vaccines.
UNC will begin vaccinating the 75 and older age group on Monday.
All patients are required to have an appointment to receive a vaccination. Appointments can be made via an online scheduling service.
Once an appointment opens, a staff member will contact the patient to set up a time they can get the vaccine.
WakeMed got a head start on the process by launching a drive-thru clinic for the 75-and-older crowd on Sunday. The vaccines were available, by appointment only, to health care workers associated with WakeMed and existing patients of WakeMed who meet the age requirement.
Similar to Duke and UNC, patients can make an appointment to get a vaccine through an online portal, WakeMed MyChart. People who don't already have a WakeMed account can sign up, and eligible patients will be contacted when vaccines are available.
Dr. Chris DeRienzo of WakeMed said Sunday's drive-thru clinic, a test run, is another useful avenue to distribute the vaccine to those in need.
"When you look across the state, folks are trying lots of different strategies to get the vaccine into the community," DeRienzo said.
Volunteers say they responded to about 400 appointments on Sunday. Officials said they hope to offer the same service again on each of the next three Sundays.
"We kept it on the smaller end to make sure this process works, and we have been incredibly excited how the day has gone," DeRienzo said.