Wake County, PNC Arena prepare for mass COVID-19 vaccination event beginning Thursday

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Preparations were underway on Wednesday for Wake County’s largest COVID-19 vaccination site.

PNC Arena will host a mass vaccination clinic on Thursday and Saturday in coordination with Wake County Public Health.

This will be the county’s third mass vaccination site.

“It has been a couple of weeks of planning. We actually took a small group [and] had them focus on this event,” mentioned Darshan Patel, team leader for Wake County Emergency Management.

The goal is to invite more than 2,100 health care workers and people 65 years or older.

The county’s waitlist has received more than 94,000 requests since mid-January, the county said last week.

Wednesday, the arena was lined with cones as crews set-up tents and some equipment for the events.

“[It’s] appointment only. I can’t stress that enough. We want to make sure that we are not wasting their time,” Patel stated. “We have as many folks as we can possibly have, even some extras, throughout this whole site guiding them telling them where they need to go. We have some color-coded systems that we will be using to make life a little bit easier for folks. We even have bathrooms set up.”

Patel also said they are working with law enforcement and have traffic controllers to make sure there are no backups.

The site has the capacity to scale up quickly to allow multiple lanes for vaccines to be distributed, according to the Wake County.

“If they [patients] are able to preregister, they will get an email about registering in the state system. If they go ahead and get that done, when they show up here, they are able to jump into a fast lane,” said Patel.

Wake County Public Health and the PNC Arena also partnered with WakeMed Health and Hospitals, UNC REX Healthcare, and Duke Raleigh Hospital for the clinic.

In a release Wednesday, the county said the site will still operate even if it rains.

All appointments for Thursday and Saturday are full.

The first appointments begin at 10 a.m. on Thursday, according to Wake County.

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