Page Updated: January 15, 2021, 2:55 p.m. | Leer esta información en español
Union County Public Health is following the plan and guidance from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). Each section of this webpage will be updated as more information becomes available.
Union County Public Health cannot make recommendations on whether an individual should receive the COVID-19 vaccines based on medical condition(s). Please consult with your primary care doctor on whether you should receive the COVID-19 vaccines.
The vaccine prioritization distribution plan is developed by NCDHHS based on federal recommendations by the CDC Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. (Click on the image to the right to enlarge.)
North Carolina’s vaccine distribution groups include:
Union County Public Health is following the plan and guidance from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). The most updated information is being shared by NCDHHS on its website.
You have a spot, take your shot. A tested, safe and effective vaccine will be available to all who want it, but supplies are limited. Union County will be following the NCDHHS vaccination groups. To see what groups are currently eligible for vaccination, please review the Who Can Get the Vaccine section above.
If you are in Group 1 or Group 2, please complete our COVID-19 vaccine prescreen form (haga clic aquí para llenar el formulario en español) or call 704.292.2550 for appointment availability. Please be patient as vaccines are very limited. Vaccinations are being scheduled by appointment only, based on vaccine availability.
Visit Atrium Health’s COVID-19 vaccine webpage for options to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination for those who meet the criteria for the current groups.
Do you need transportation? Union County Transportation can help you get to your healthcare appointments and home. If you are a registered rider, call 704.292.2511 to schedule your reservation. If you aren’t registered, click here to register online. You may also register by calling 704.292.2511, option 3, or visiting Union County Transportation at 610 Patton Ave, Monroe, NC 28110. Visit our Transportation page for more information.
Tested, safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines will help us get back in control of our lives and back to the people and places we love. We understand some people may be concerned about getting vaccinated. While these vaccines have been developed as quickly as possible, routine processes and procedures remain in place to ensure the safety of any vaccine that is authorized or approved for use. Safety is a top priority and there are many reasons to get vaccinated. Below is a summary of the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination based on data currently available to the CDC.
Frequently asked questions and responses will be updated as information becomes available to the CDC, NCDHHS and Union County Public Health.
Due to a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines, independent state and federal public health advisory committees have determined the best way to fight COVID-19 is to follow a tiered prioritization approach See the priority tiers on the NCDHHS website.
NCDHHS is distributing the vaccine to counties across North Carolina. Union County Public Health is administering vaccinations based on guidance from NCDHHS and the NCDHHS vaccination plan.
Yes, when appointments are available for the prioritization group for which you are included. Due to a limited supply of the COVID-19 vaccine, Union County Public Health will follow the updated NCDHHS vaccination groups, which outlines the groups receiving priority for receiving the vaccine. Please see the “Where to Get the Vaccine” section of this web page for the latest information.
You may not make a vaccination appointment if:
The federal government will oversee a centralized system to order, distribute, and track COVID-19 vaccines. All vaccines will be ordered through CDC. Vaccine providers will receive vaccines from CDC’s centralized distributor or directly from a vaccine manufacturer.
Planning efforts have focused on every step and detail of the process, including:
A safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is a critical component of the U.S. strategy to reduce COVID-19-related illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths and to help society function as it did before COVID-19. The goal of the U.S. government is to have enough COVID-19 vaccine doses for all people in the United States who choose to be vaccinated.
Yes. Two vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have proven to prevent COVID-19 illness with no safety concerns in the clinical trials. They are 95% effective.
More than 70,000 people participated in clinical trials for two vaccines to see if they are safe and effective. To date, the vaccines are nearly 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 with no safety concerns.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for making sure the vaccines are safe and effective. While the COVID-19 vaccines must go through and pass clinical trials like other drugs and vaccines, the FDA can get them to the public faster through an Emergency Use Authorization, as long as the vaccines are found to be safe and effective— and then verified by an independent committee.
States will receive very limited supplies at first. The federal government decides how many COVID-19 vaccines each state gets based on the state’s population of people aged 18 and up.
NCDHHS has a plan to store the vaccines safely, so they can be effective. North Carolina is prepared to receive vaccines that require ultra-cold storage or frozen storage as soon as they become available from the federal government. Eleven hospital sites across the state have been identified that have the greatest capacity for ultra-cold storage for the anticipated Pfizer vaccine. Vaccines that require ultra-cold storage will come with packaging and cooling material to meet the storage requirements for sites that do not have permanent ultra-cold storage. The Moderna vaccine does not require ultra-cold storage. The state and CDC will deliver training on COVID-19 vaccine storage, handling and administration based on federal recommendations and product information from vaccine manufacturers.
There is no COVID-19 in the vaccines. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines give your body instructions to make a kind of protein. This protein safely tricks your body into thinking the virus is attacking. Your body then strengthens itself to fight off the real COVID-19 if it ever tries to attack you. Your body gets rid of the small protein naturally and quickly.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two shots a set number of days apart. You need two doses to build up strong immunity against COVID. The second shot will come about 3-4 weeks after the first. It is important to get two doses of the same vaccine.
There is no COVID-19 virus in the vaccine. The vaccine imitates the infection so that our bodies think a germ like the virus is attacking. This creates the antibody defenses we need to fight off COVID-19 if and when the real germ attacks.
There are no major side effects to the COVID-19 vaccine. Some people may have temporary reactions after being vaccinated, such as swelling from the injection, tiredness or feeling off for a day or two.
Yes. The CDC recommends that during the pandemic people wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth when in contact with others who do not live in your household, when in healthcare facilities and when receiving any vaccine. Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unable to remove a mask without assistance should not wear a mask.
The COVID-19 vaccine will be available to everyone for free, whether or not you have health insurance. The federal government will be purchasing the vaccines. However, providers may charge an administration fee for giving the shot to someone. Vaccine providers can get this fee reimbursed by the patient’s private insurance company or, for uninsured patients, by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.
There is a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine. NCDHHS is following a tiered prioritization approach that outlines the groups for which the vaccine will be distributed. Supply will continually increase. Public health experts say the best way to fight COVID-19 is to first start with vaccinations for those most at risk, then reach more people as the vaccine supply increases from January 2021 to June 2021. The first supply will go to vaccinate health care workers working with COVID-19 patients, like doctors, nurses, and those cleaning areas used by COVID-19 patients. Hospitals will give vaccines to staff on different days in case they have temporary reactions that may prevent them from working for a day or two. Long-term care staff and residents are also one of the first groups who will receive a vaccine. Most vaccinations at nursing homes, adult care homes, and other long-term care settings are being managed by the federal government. However, the vaccines used in long-term care will come from North Carolina’s supply. As more vaccines become available, vaccinations will be offered to everyone who wants one, including in clinics and drug stores, as well as at vaccination events in communities.
North Carolina does not require an identification card, like a driver’s license, to be vaccinated. Some employers or health care providers could request ID, but it is not required by the state.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses, given a set number of days apart. It is important to know when a person received the first dose of vaccine, and which vaccine, to ensure they receive the second dose of the same vaccine at the right time. The shot you take, and when you need the second dose, is health information that is carefully managed to protect your privacy. North Carolina will use a secure data system called the COVID-19 Vaccine Management System (CVMS) to manage vaccinations. When a person gets a first dose, they will be given information on when to come back for a second dose and asked to make a second appointment. They will also be given a card with information about which vaccine they got for their first dose and the date of that dose.
Yes. The vaccine works to protect you against a future infection. You don’t need a COVID-19 test before vaccination. It is safe to get vaccinated with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine if you have been infected in the past. Additional information can be found here for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available. Vaccines work with your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Other steps, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask and staying at least 6 feet away from others, help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.
Yes. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19. Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before deciding to change recommendations on steps everyone should take to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision
The protection someone gains from having an infection (called natural immunity) varies depending on the disease, and it varies from person to person. Because this virus is new, we do not know how long natural immunity might last. Some early evidence - based on some people - seems to suggest natural immunity may not last very long.
Regarding vaccination, we will not know how long immunity lasts until we have a vaccine and more data on how well it works.
Both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are trying to learn more about, and CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.
Experts do not know what percentage of people would need to get vaccinated to achieve herd immunity to COVID-19. Herd immunity is a term used to describe when enough people have protection - either from previous infection or vaccination - that it is unlikely a virus or bacteria can spread and cause disease. As a result, everyone within the community is protected even if some people don’t have any protection themselves. The percentage of people who need to have protection in order to achieve herd immunity varies by disease.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women may choose to receive the Pfizer COVID vaccine. Pregnant women should talk with their doctors before making the choice. You do not need to take a pregnancy test before you get your vaccine. Women who are breastfeeding may also choose to get vaccinated. The vaccine is not thought to be a risk to a baby who is breastfeeding.
People who have had severe allergic reactions, also called anaphylaxis, to any ingredient in the Pfizer vaccine should not receive that vaccine. People who have had this type of severe allergic reaction to any vaccine or treatment that is injected should not receive the Pfizer vaccine at this time. Vaccine providers will watch patients for 15-30 minutes after vaccination to ensure the patient’s safety.
No, it is not required for COVID vaccination here in North Carolina.
North Carolina does not require an identification card, like a driver’s license, to be vaccinated. Some employers could request ID when limited vaccine has to be prioritized, but it is not required.
Since the Pfizer trial just ended, we know that it can protect people from COVID illness for at least two months. We’ll know even more about how long the immunity from the vaccine lasts as people have been vaccinated for a longer period of time.
North Carolina will use the COVID-19 Vaccine Management System (CVMS), a free, secure, web-based system provided to all who give COVID-19 vaccinations. It helps vaccine providers know who has been vaccinated with which vaccine to make sure people get the second dose of the same vaccine at the right time. It also helps people register for vaccination at the appropriate time and allows the state to manage vaccine supply. Pharmacies, such as CVS and Walgreens doing vaccinations in long-term care facilities, will not use CVMS to give and manage vaccines. These pharmacies will use their own systems. Your information on vaccination is confidential health information that is carefully managed to protect your privacy. Information will not be shared except in accordance with state and federal law. Any personal information will be taken out prior to sending public health information to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).