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Jackson county has 6,000+ waiting list for vaccine

SYLVA- Jackson County has temporarily depleted its inventory of Covid 19 vaccines after several successful vaccination events over the last two weeks.

“We have 6,000+ on the waiting list and we are currently receiving anywhere from 0-300 first dose vaccines a week,” explained Jackson County Department of Public Health Deputy Director Melissa McKnight. “We deplete all of our first doses weekly.”

More details about this process are explained in a “Frequently Asked Questions,” FAQ link at https://tinyurl.com/COVID19VaxFAQJacksonCounty.

“We are working with all of the communities in WNC to get as many people vaccinated as soon as supplies allow,” said Shelley Carraway, Director of the Jackson County Department of Pubic Health. “This vaccination plan will take months – not weeks – to roll out. We’re asking for patience from our friends, families, and neighbors…if you are disappointed that you haven’t been able to get your vaccine yet, please know that you will not be left behind.

“We’re offering limited appointments each week, and will add more appointments as we get more supply,” added Carraway. “Until then, let’s do what we know works… washing our hands, waiting 6 feet apart, and wearing a face mask.”

To view a copy of the guidelines for phases and groups to receive the vaccine, please visit https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vaccines.

On Monday, Jan. 25, the Jackson County Department of Public Health sent out a press release updating their pre-registration process.

“The Jackson County Department of Public Health (JCDPH) continues to work with community partners to get as many people vaccinated as soon as supply allows,” said McKnight in the press release. “We continue to vaccinate those who fall into Group 1 (healthcare workers) and Group 2 (those 65 years and older). We have updated our pre-registration process to better meet the needs of our community.

The updates are as follows:
· If you are in Group 1 or 2 and have already pre-registered, a JCDPH staff member will call you to confirm your appointment. This may take weeks as appointment slots are based on our very limited vaccine supply. Please be patient.
· If you are in Group 1 or 2 and have not pre-registered, please call 828-631-HELP. A staff member will be able to assist you and confirm your pre-registration.
· If you are in Group 1 or 2 and are unsure if you have pre-registered, please call 828-631-HELP. A staff member will be able to assist you and confirm your pre-registration.

JCDPH has removed the online pre-registration link at this time. “We may re-open this link as we move to additional Groups,” McKnight added.

For updates and timely information, please visit the JCDPH website at http://health.jacksonnc.org/covid19 or read the COVID-19 Vaccine at JCDPH FAQ at https://tinyurl.com/COVID19VaxFAQJacksonCounty.

Last Friday, Jan. 19, 350 Jackson County Public School staff members received the first dose of vaccine at a walk-through event at Harris Regional Hospital.

On Jan. 15, 200 of Jackson County’s first responders and front line emergency services staff received the first of two Covid-19 vaccinations at the Jackson County Recreation Center in Cullowhee. They are scheduled to receive their second dose on Thursday, Feb. 11 at the Jackson County Department on Aging.

These vaccination events are made possible due to a partnership between Jackson County Emergency Management, Harris Regional EMS, Glenville Cashiers EMS, the Jackson County Public Health Department, the Jackson County Department on Aging, and the Jackson County Recreation Center in Cullowhee.

“We are extremely proud of all of our front line workers from the sheriff’s office, to the health department, to EMS and even the National Guard,” said Jackson County Manager Don Adams. “We know the rollout of the vaccine is going slower than most of our citizens would prefer, but I assure you, we have the best team of dedicated individuals in place to execute the plan once vaccines arrive in Jackson County.”

For more information, please contact Jackson County Public Information Officer Kelly Donaldson via e-mail at jacksonpio@jacksonnc.org.

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