4,000 veterans expected to get vaccinated at Durham VA mass vaccination clinic

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN)– The next two days are expected to be busy for the team at the Durham VA as they prepare to host their second mass vaccination clinic.

Dr. Genevieve Embree said 4,000 veterans are expected to participate in the clinic scheduled for Feb. 27 and 28.

“We have 75 people scheduled every 15 minutes,” Embree said. She serves as the COVID-19 vaccine coordinator at the hospital.

She said 40 medical professionals will administer the vaccines.

“We have multiple different check-in stations throughout the line where people are getting all their information as getting ready.  So, as soon as they get vaccinated it’s only about a five minute process.”

Three thousand veterans will receive their second dose. One thousand veterans will get their first dose. Only 200 veterans had signed up by Friday afternoon, allowing the Durham Veteran System to expand eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines.

“We gauge where we are in terms of how many vaccines we can offer and after we do our outreach to those veterans in those groups if we are not filling  our appointments slots with them, then we move down to the next priority groups,” Embree explained 

The number of people who will receive a vaccine is in large part determined by the weekly allotment the VA receives.

Unlike some counties and hospitals, there is no wait list for veterans in the Durham area.

Embree said everyone that’s eligible and calls for an appointment gets one. 

She said in the eastern part of the state there has been longer wait times .

“Initially we were only getting 100 doses a week out to Greenville and eastern North Carolina. Now we’re up to about 400 doses a week. So people who were scheduled out in in April, May, even in June, we were been able to reschedule  those veterans into February appointment slots .”

So far, nearly 15,000 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered through the Durham VA Health Care System since December.

The eligibility requirement for Feb 27th and 28th Vaccine Clinic is listed below:

*Veterans are required to be enrolled in the Durham VA Health Care System to be vaccinated, however, you do not have to receive care through the Durham Medical Center to be vaccinated in Durham. Any eligible Veteran who has transportation to Durham can schedule an appointment.

The Durham VA said they are now offering vaccines to the following Veterans:

Veterans

  • Living in a long-term care facility
  • Experiencing homelessness
  • Age 65 and older
  • Age 18-64 with ANY of the following high-risk health conditions:
  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease (or dialysis)
  • COPD (emphysema)
  • Heart disease
  • Solid organ transplant
  • Obesity (body mass index over 30)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Down syndrome
  • Smoking
  • Age 18-64 with ANY of the following health conditions:
  • Asthma
  • Cerebrovascular disease (stroke)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system from HIV, steroid or other immune-weakening medications)
  • Liver disease
  • Dementia and other neurologic conditions
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Pulmonary fibrosis (damaged/scarred lung tissues)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Thalassemia (blood disorder)

Veteran essential workers (any age)

  • Health care workers
  • First responders (firefighters, police)
  • Public Health
  • Education (teachers, support staff, daycare)
  • Agriculture and food processing
  • Grocery store workers
  • Food service
  • Manufacturing
  • Corrections workers
  • U.S. Postal service
  • Public transit
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Water and wastewater
  • Shelter and housing (e.g. construction)
  • Finance (e.g. bank tellers)
  • Information technology and communications
  • Energy
  • Legal
  • Media
  • Public safety (e.g. engineers)

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