CaroMont Health to Host COVID-19 Vaccination Event for Teachers
Beginning Wednesday, February 24, Pre-K to 12 educators, school system employees and childcare providers will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination under North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services’ phased approach. CaroMont Health has partnered with Gaston County Schools, local childcare centers and area private schools to ensure teachers and staff in Gaston County have immediate access to the COVID-19 vaccine. During a three-day event, which kicks off with an education and childcare vaccination clinic this Wednesday, CaroMont Health expects to vaccinate more than 1,000 teachers and childcare workers and nearly 3,000 individuals 65 years and older.
“CaroMont Health worked with Gaston County Department of Health and Human Services to request approximately 4,000 COVID-19 vaccines to host a mass vaccination event,” explained Chris Peek, President and Chief Executive Officer for CaroMont Health. “However, when that shipment was delayed due to the winter storm that crippled the Midwest, we found ourselves in a better position to allocate some of those vaccines to teachers and childcare workers. The timing was perfect and will allow us to open this next vaccination phase in a really impactful way, while still vaccinating more than 3,000 other eligible individuals in our community. Teachers and education staff are a critical group in our fight against COVID-19, and CaroMont Health wanted to make sure we are doing everything possible to help protect them and their students.”
Leaders at Gaston County Schools worked closely with CaroMont Health to develop a solution that eliminated access barriers for those who wish to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This included scheduling the kick-off event this Wednesday during a remote learning day, when teachers have flexibility to travel for the vaccination. Additionally, CaroMont Regional Medical Center’s Vaccine Clinic has worked to extend normal operating hours to ensure those individuals receiving vaccination experience a seamless and efficient process.
“We are extremely pleased to have an opportunity to participate in the vaccination clinic for K-12 educators at CaroMont Health,” stated Superintendent of Schools W. Jeffrey Booker. “Our employees continue to express their appreciation for an occasion to receive the vaccine as our state transitions to Group 3, which includes educators and other frontline essential workers.”
Since December 18, CaroMont Health has provided more than 20,000 COVID-19 vaccinations (11,722 first doses and 8,642 second doses). This three-day event seeks to add an additional 5,300 (3,800 first doses and 1,500 second) doses to that total. At that rate, CaroMont Health will add to Gaston County’s percentage of population vaccinated, which is already higher than surround counties.
“We believe our strong partnership with CaroMont Health and the Gaston County Department of Health and Human Services is beneficial,” Dr. Booker added, “and it is because of our partnership that we are able to prioritize educators in our community to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.”
“Our goal is to ensure vaccines are delivered to as many individuals as possible, as easily as possible,” continued Peek. “While supply remains limited across the state, we believe strongly this is another thing we can do to ensure the safety and health of our community.”
CaroMont Health continues to vaccinate eligible individuals in Group 1 and Group 2 in addition to Group 3 educators, as vaccine is allocated and received from NCDHHS. Those who wish to be vaccinated at CaroMont Health may visit caromonthealth.org/vaccine to schedule appointments as they become available or join an Interest List for notification as vaccines become available.