Duke Health now meeting people where they are to provide COVID-19 vaccinations

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — It remains to be seen if President Joe Biden’s visit to the Triangle this past week will boost vaccination numbers here.

Data shows the number of North Carolina adults who are at least partially vaccinated remains at 55 percent, while 52 percent are fully vaccinated.

However, in the meantime, Duke Health has a launched a new initiative, bringing the vaccine to people in need.

“So, what we found is a lot of folks are very interested in getting vaccinated but just can’t get to these sites where we are having these pop-up clinics. You can’t forget about those folks,” said Katrina Shearin.

Shearin is responsible for supporting emergency planning and coordinated response efforts centered around COVID-19 with Duke Health.

She said the Duke Health team along with other partners put their heads together and decided to go out and bring the vaccine to people who are homeless, on the brink of homelessness, or are homebound.

“We are started out going to some of the homeless shelters that we have in Durham County. One of the first ones we went to was the rescue mission. We were able to vaccinate 200 individuals on our first shot there,” Shearin said.

More recently, the team went to Carolina Duke Inn in Durham. It is an extended stay that houses people who are without a home.

“On Wednesday, they were here to vaccinate me. They came with a doctor, the paramedics (also) just in case,” explained Dee Baginski.

Baginski was one of the people staying at the Carolina Duke Inn who was vaccinated.

“You don’t know who you are going to be around. Whether they are vaccinated or not. It’s important especially for an at-risk person,” she said.

“I feel great, and I feel like everyone should be vaccinated,” said Baginski.

On that day, the Duke Health team was able to vaccinate not just Baginski, but others there.

“We actually prepare to provide more vaccine. So, were prepared for that,” Shearin said.

The team also provides education about the vaccine when they are out at a location.

If you are interested in them coming to you, you can call 919-613-2439 to schedule an appointment.

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