By Tim Gardner
The County of Avery and the Avery County Health Department have collectively announced that Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines are now available for any citizen of Avery County who is 75 years or older.
Those meeting this age criteria can be vaccinated at the county’s Agriculture Extension Center beginning Tuesday, January 12th and running through Friday, January 15th and again Wednesday, January 20th through Friday, January 22nd. The vaccines will be given from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. during those time spans.
The Agriculture Extension Center is located at 661 Vale Road (one-half mile above Ingles Markets) in Newland.
Those who want to get the vaccine during the available times should their insurance card and wear appropriate clothing for easy access to have the vaccination in their upper arm. Masks are required to be worn by all receiving the vaccine.
If any person age 75 or older who has a bleeding disorder or are on blood thinners, should contact his or her physician for written documentation in order to receive the vaccine.
For questions about the vaccinations for this age group in Avery County, call: (828) 733-8273.
The Toe River Health District (TRHD), which encompasses health departments in Avery, Mitchell and Yancey, NC counties has begun the long process of administering the COVID-19 vaccine to all local residents. HCPress.com is trying to find out the number of vaccines available for distribution from the TRHD and will relay that information to our readers as soon as we get it.
TRHD officials request that those who want to get the vaccine should email their name and phone number to: [email protected]; [email protected]; or [email protected] toeriverhealth.org depending on their county of residence.
This procedure applies to all residents of Mitchell and Yancey counties and those other than the 75 years or older age group in Avery County.
Health District representatives will then call or email those who ask for the vaccination (besides the 75-plus age group in Avery County) to put their name in the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services computer system.
The NCHHHS will determine priority of those who request the vaccine and notify the applicants what priority group they are in. The NCHHS schedules those requesting the vaccine in groups of ten since the vaccine doses are available in 10 dose vials. Applicants will be notified when you are scheduled to receive the vaccine.
More information on vaccine scheduling in the Toe River Health District counties can be obtained by calling its local health departments, which those without email access are encouraged to do:
Avery Co. Health Department (828)-733-6031
Mitchell Co. Health Department (828)-688-2371
Yancey Co. Health Department (828)-682-6118.
Healthcare workers, those at high risk of exposure to COVID, frontline essential workers and those over age 75 are in the top priority group and will be vaccinated first. The next priority group will be for adults with high risk of severe illnesses, followed by those living in group home or related congregate settings.
There is no cost for the vaccine and anyone who wants the vaccine can receive it. However, supplies of the vaccine are currently limited and it may be several months before vaccines are available to every resident of Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties.
In a horrific COVID-19 update being reported by various media outlets across the nation from healthcare systems on Friday, January 8 is that an American dies every 21 seconds from COVID-19 and that individuals without the virus symptoms make up 59% percent of its spread.
All healthcare professional workers strongly urge all people to continue to wear a mask, wash their hands and maintain a social distance of at least six feet away from others.