News Flash

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Posted on: February 26, 2021

2-26-21 Weekly COVID-19 vaccination update


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Feb. 26, 2021

Key Updates: The Smoky Mountain Event Center has been a gracious host for the mass vaccination clinics over the last few weeks, but as event season ramps up there will be some dates that the fairgrounds will be unavailable for clinic use. People are urged to listen to appoint calls carefully for location changes, as well as times.

Where to find COVID-19 vaccine information:

Vaccinations by the numbers:

First shots given: 9,553* 

*Does not include those vaccinated at long-term care facilities, the VA, or through local pharmacies or health care offices.

Estimated total population vaccinated with at least one dose: 12,000

First shots given this week at drive-through events: 625


Currently vaccinating: 

  • Haywood residents ages 65 and up

  • Teachers, starting next week


Currently registering: Haywood residents ages 65 and up

To register online visit: haywoodcountync.gov/vaccine

or by phone at 828-356-2019 (hours of operation for the phone line are Monday - Friday 8 a.m - 5 pm..) 


Vaccination groups completed:

  • Long term care facility residents and staff

  • Hospital and doctor’s office staff

  • Health Department, Emergency Services, and Vaccine Clinic staff


Vaccination groups nearing completion:

  • County and municipal critical staff

  • Haywood residents ages 75+


Looking ahead: 

  • Group 3 - Teachers and Frontline Workers — Governor Roy Cooper has decreed that North Carolina can move to Group 3 Frontline Essential Workers on February 24. While acknowledging that the vaccine supply is still very limited and the population of frontline essential workers is so large, the state has advised vaccinating those working in child care or in PreK – 12 schools first starting on February 24, then moving other frontline essential workers on March 10. 


What to know in Haywood County —

  • Vaccinations for Haywood County teachers will begin March 4. Each school will have a vaccine clinic day when teachers & staff can receive their first doses on site. Dates will be announced through each school’s principal.

  • All of the licensed childcare centers in Haywood County have been invited to register staff members for their vaccinations. Scheduling for those vaccinations will begin after the two-week registration period expires.


Vaccination capacity: Vaccine capacity over the next week will remain at 600 doses, 400 for the health department and 200 for the hospital, which will continue to be administered through joint mass vaccination events.


Accepting First Dose Appointment: 

  • Time and location details for first dose appointments go out through an automated phone/text/email system. Listen carefully for appointment location and time.

  • Do not accept the appointment for the initial dose if you cannot commit to being available on the day your second dose should be given. Second doses are due 21 days or 28 days after the first dose, depending on the vaccine given, which we will not know until the day of the clinic. If you plan to be out of town or having a scheduled surgery or some other conflict you should wait and not start the vaccine until you can receive all doses here in Haywood County, on time.

  • If you decline an appointment, your name remains on the list to be called for a future first dose clinic. You do not have to pre-register again.


Second dose information:

  • Over 1,000 people received second doses this week, completing their COVID-19 vaccination regimen. For most people, full immunity potential is reached about two weeks after receiving the second dose. It is important to continue wearing masks and following other COVID protocols even after immunity is reached.

  • Second doses are allocated separately dependant on the number of first doses given. So far, second dose allocations appear to be arriving right on schedule and we anticipate no issues here.

  • The second appointment dates for Moderna are due 28 days after the initial dose. Appointments for Pfizer are due 21 days after the initial dose. (If you have been vaccinated already, your second appointment date can be found on the back of your vaccine card.)

  • Time and location details for second appointments will go out via the same phone system through which you received your first appointment. 


Organizations dispensing vaccine*:

  • Haywood County Health and Human Services 

  • Haywood Regional Medical Center (partnering with HHSA for distribution)

  • Blue Ridge Community Health: 100 doses per week

  • Walgreens: 100 doses per location per week


*All organizations are offering vaccinations by appointment only.


Mass Vaccination Clinics:

  • Haywood County Health and Human Services, Haywood County Emergency Services, and Haywood Regional Medical Center are partnering on the weekly vaccine clinics.

  • The clinics serve those on the pre-registry list who have been contacted with an appointment time and are NOT open to the public or to walk-ins. 

  • Instructions on how to participate will be given when appointment times are scheduled.

  • About 625 people received their first shots at mass clinic events this week in Haywood.

  • Huge thanks to all the volunteers, churches, and individuals who contribute to the success of these events. To be considered for a volunteer position, please visit: https://terms.ncem.org/TRS/ and follow the directions on the site.


“We are continuing to see good turnout of the 65 and older group at our drive-through mass vaccination clinics.  Second doses are arriving and continuing to be administered.  We have developed our plan to start vaccinating school staff starting March 4.  To those who are still awaiting vaccine please be patient, our goal is to get everyone vaccinated who wants it.  Our positive cases are going down, but please keep wearing your masks and social distancing so that we can win the fight against Covid-19,” said Interim Health Director Garron Bradish.


To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and the prioritization goals visit: https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vaccines


At each step of the way,  Haywood County Health and Human Services is committed to providing updates and guidance to make sure that everyone who wants to be vaccinated will have their chance.


Key Points about the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • The vaccine is tested, safe, and effective

  • You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine

  • There will be limited availability at first and more widely available over time.

  • The vaccine will be provided free of charge to everyone that wants it.

  • Two doses are needed for maximum immunity.

  • There is no vaccine mandate.

  • Continuing the 3Ws will be critical until the vaccine is widely taken

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