Last week, the Iredell County Health Department held a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination at Stumpy Creek Park in Mooresville, and it did not go as smoothly as was hoped. Traffic that trailed all the way from the park to Perth Road, along with an accident nearby, made the experience rough on those looking to receive the vaccine.
This time around, at Mazeppa Park on Thursday morning, was much better.
“We have a better traffic situation here, given the layout of the park,” Megan Redford, public information officer for ICHD, said. “While there is still a wait time, we handed out numbers so that people weren’t unnecessarily waiting in line for hours just to be turned away.
“So, all in all, we feel like today, at this site, has gone better," she said.
Iredell County vaccinated 400 more people Thursday morning, all in “Phase 1B, Group 1” of the county’s vaccination plan. In that phase, all people older than 75 are eligible to receive the vaccine.
And, according to both police and health officials, people were eager enough to be vaccinated to camp out in their car overnight to be at the front of the line — some as early as Wednesday evening when the health department first arrived at the park to begin set up.
Once the clinic opened, cars filed in, but ultimately, a few had to be turned away. However, the county assures that they will keep holding these clinics as long as they have the supply.
“We are not going to stop hosting these clinics until we feel that out community has all had the opportunity to attend,” Redford said. "This is an ongoing effort.”
The 400 people who received the vaccine at Mazeppa Park on Thursday is a small percentage of those older than 75 in Iredell County. Around 10 percent of the county population is older than 75 and the health department anticipates it will need 18,000 doses for just that portion of the population.
According to Redford, Iredell County has been able to distribute all of the vaccine doses that they have received thus far, one of the few counties in North Carolina able to claim that feat.
The health department anticipates that, despite there not being a set timeline, they will move into “Phase 1B, Group 2” in the coming weeks, dependent on vaccine supply. That group includes health care workers and frontline essential workers, such as first responders, postal service workers, grocery store workers, teachers and more, that are older than 50.
Among those vaccinated, the response has been positive.
“We have had positive feedback so far,” Redford said. “We have an observation area for patients to take advantage of after they receive the shot, but so far, only a few side effects, such as mild flu-like symptoms have occurred.
“But that just means your immune system is working.”
The Iredell County Health Department expects to announce the next vaccination site, which is likely to be in the Statesville area, early next week.
If you qualify for vaccination, or are unsure if you do, and want to know when the next drive-thru clinic will occur, visit /www.co.iredell.nc.us/1441/COVID-19-Vaccine.