Buncombe County COVID vaccine appointments open to everyone 16 and older

Press release from Buncombe County:

On Tuesday, April 14, Buncombe County Medical Director Dr. Jennifer Mullendore provided updated vaccine information and COVID rates during a COVID-19 community update. Vaccine appointments are available immediately by going to www.buncombeready.org or by calling 419-0095. Pfizer is the only vaccine approved for use in 16- and 17-year-olds, these individuals should check with their preferred vaccine provider to confirm that Pfizer is available.

COVID trends in Buncombe County as of April 13:
–          There have been 16,805 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Buncombe County since the pandemic’s start.
–          There have been 311 COVID-19-related deaths in our community.
–          There are 73 new cases per 100,000 per week, and we are seeing about 28 new cases per day enter our public health work flow.
–          The percent positivity has been between 4.0 and 4.4 percent for the last several weeks.
–          Local hospitalization indicators have increased slightly, but overall remain stable.

“Just as the health director has stated in prior updates, I will stress that while indicators are not increasing, it is still so important to pay attention to this leveling off,” said Mullendore. “This is far from over, and we are still a long way from having the type of immunity our community needs to be safe. We will only get there if we practice the three Ws and get  the vaccine as soon as possible.”

To view the COVID community update, visit: https://fb.watch/4RLqn66q4_/

Vaccines Statistics as of April 13
Since December 22, Buncombe County Health and Human Services (BCHHS) has administered 70,489 doses of the vaccine with help and support from Buncombe County Emergency Services and other partners, with 42,951 people partially vaccinated and 29,253 fully vaccinated.

Weekly vaccine allocation: 3,520 baseline doses, 300 equity bump doses

Vaccine events: This week, Buncombe County partnered with the Mexican Consulate for walk-in vaccines for our Latinx community. In addition, Buncombe County partnered with Meals on Wheels and Mission Health Partners’ Caremedics to vaccinate homebound individuals. Staff have also worked with community organizations to vaccinate unhoused community members.

Johnson & Johnson
Out of an abundance of caution, Buncombe County is pausing the use of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine pending additional review from the FDA and CDC. With all three vaccines, it’s common to briefly experience a low fever, headache, fatigue, and/or muscle pain. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been paused after the risk of more severe side effects became approximately one in a million. “This is a sign that the vaccine safety monitoring system is working well,” said Mullendore.

Visit the Find my Testing Place website or visit starmed.care to register for COVID-19 testing in Buncombe County. Individuals who are showing symptoms or believe they have had close contact to COVID-19 should get tested.

Emergency Alerts
Buncombe County residents can stay up-to-date on emergency situations by signing up for BC Alerts by texting “BCAlert” to 99411 or by clicking here. Users can select which type of notices they’d like to receive, the languages for the communications, and even TTY options. These alerts include key information about COVID vaccines and waitlists as well.

If residents have previously signed up for BC Alerts, they will need to re-register in order to continue receiving them due to a change in emergency alert providers. Visit www.buncombecounty.org to learn more.

Please continue to practice the 3Ws to stop transmission of COVID-19, even if you’ve received a vaccine. It will take the vaccine and these important preventative measures to get our families back to a sense of normalcy. For more information about COVID-19, vaccine appointments, and COVID testing, go to www.buncombeready.org. Moving forward, COVID updates will occur twice a month at the Board of County Commissioners Briefings.

About Community Bulletin
Mountain Xpress posts selected news and information of local interest as a public service for our readers. To submit press releases and other community material for possible publication, email news@mountainx.com.

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