By Tim Gardner
Avery County will again roll out its new healthcare mobile units this Thursday, February 25th to inoculate its public school teachers, principals and school support staff workers including custodians, cook, bus drivers and secretaries for coronavirus (COVID-19).
Additionally, Avery County School Administration officials plan to be vaccinated Thursday.
County Manager Phillip Barrier, Jr. has released the following vaccination schedule with related details for those inoculations:
Those receiving the inoculations signed up for them to be administered.
Avery County continues the fight against COVID-19 out into the various communities the county encompasses via two mobile units where vaccines will be administered and setting up mobile vaccination clinics wherever they are needed.
According to Barrier, Jr., the two mobile units will initially go out into the county’s communities and vaccinate Avery residents. As the State of North Carolina continues with its vaccination phases system, Avery County will be setting up the mobile trailers at important sites for ease of access.
“One of the mobile unit trailers is designated strictly for the health department. It’s going to be our vaccination and immunization trailer where they can actually go out and do vaccinations now. We can go to all the schools and do them. Later on, when COVID-19 is over, we can send the trailers out for flu shots and take them to various parts of the county of for other health-related purposes,” Barrier, Jr. said.
The second trailer is currently prioritized to be the county’s second mobile vaccination unit. But Barrier, Jr. said in the near future, the mobile trailer will function as the county emergency services department’s new mobile command unit.
The county first ordered the two units in November 2020 and they were paid for through grant money obtained via the Federal CARES Act.
Barrier, Jr. added that as of the morning of February 23, Avery County has administered a total of 4,746 doses of the Moderna vaccine, with 2,881 being first doses and 1,865 being second doses. He added that the county currently has 500 doses of the vaccine available, of which 200 has been set aside for the inoculations of school staff personnel.
The county also will be continuing its administration of second dose vaccines for those who are 75 years of age and older. First doses are being held for those 65 years of age and older.
First Dose Vaccines will be available for anyone 65 years or older at the county’s Agriculture Extension Center (661 Vale Road above Ingles in Newland) on Friday, February 25th from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Agriculture Extension Center. There will be no second doses available then.
A limited number of first and second dose vaccines should be available for in the county the week of March 1st-5th, Barrier, Jr. noted.
Those wishing to schedule receiving a vaccine appointment should phone the county’s call center (828) 733-8273 to schedule an appointment. The call center is open from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. Mondays through Fridays.
If you could not attend the previous second dose clinic because of inclement weather please call the Avery County Health Department for a new appointment. (828) 733-6031.
Those wanting to be vaccinated should bring their insurance card and wear appropriate clothing for easy access to have the vaccination in their upper arm. Mask wearing is also required.