Duke Health vaccinates nearly 180 at combined clinic and job fair in Durham

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Duke Health vaccinated 179 people at its “Jobs and Shots” vaccine clinic and job fair on Saturday.

The hybrid event was held at the Wheels Fun Park. Staff from Duke Health brought doses of the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines, while local companies brought information about job openings.

“The effort came about realizing that every time we would do a vaccination event, very few people right now are showing up to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Viviana Martinez-Bianchi, a family medicine and primary care doctor at Duke Health.

The latest report from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services shows that 55 percent of the population in Durham County is fully vaccinated.

Dr. Martinez-Bianchi tells CBS17 unvaccinated people account for 98 percent of all recent COVID-19 cases. Many of them are young people who end up in the hospital. She’s hopeful that’s enough to ease hesitation and change people’s minds about getting the vaccine.

“The people who are currently being admitted to the hospital are no longer the older people,” she said. “We’re admitting between 0 and 40 years of age. People in the ICU are now between the ages of 20 and 49.”

She added, “Even those who didn’t end up admitted to the hospital, we’re seeing people who end up with this chronic symptom of fatigue and illness.”

That’s what convinced Hortensia Corcino to get the shot. She says her 33-year-old son became infected with COVID-19 shortly after getting his first dose of the vaccine and ended up in the ICU.

“We went to the ICU with him for more than 13 days,” Corcino said of how serious her son’s symptoms were. “He was really sick and at the end, the doctors told us that what was good for him is that he had his first dose of the vaccine. Then my husband and I decided that we should have the vaccine as well.”

When it comes to jobs, the unemployment rate in Durham is 3.7 percent, according to a May report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nearly a dozen employers set up tables at the job fair, including the Durham Police Department and several school districts, which all have multiple vacancies.

BJ Jordan tells CBS17 he already got his COVID vaccine, but came dressed to impress and ready to hand out resumes.

“I think things like this are really beneficial because some people might not have the avenue or platform to know where to find that opportunity or where they should go,” Jordan said.

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