CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Mecklenburg County Public Health announced Monday that it has launched a new website where community groups and organizations across the Charlotte area can request to host a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in conjunction with local health care providers.
"What we hope to do with this is expand the availability of vaccine in the community and look at ways and places where we can get the vaccine out to those that are most disproportionately affected,” Harris said.
These community-based clinics are party of the health department's effort to ensure an equal distribution of vaccines to low-income and diverse neighborhoods across Mecklenburg County. According to recent federal and state data, Black people were not receiving an equitable number of vaccines based on population figures. For example, Black people make up 22% of North Carolina's population but only received 12% of first doses, according to a report on Feb. 1.
"We're looking forward to hearing from organizations who are interested, and whether we'll be able to accommodate all of them or not is dependent on vaccine availability and how many respond,” Harris said. “But this gives us an opportunity to make sure that we’re in the best places we need to be in the community.”
On Monday, North Carolina health officials reported 2,458 new cases of COVID-19. Currently, 1,941 people are hospitalized statewide due to the coronavirus. The state's COVID-19 metrics continue to move in the right direction, with Tuesday's case count being the lowest single-day total since before Thanksgiving.
According to the health department, these community-based clinics will be accepted on a rolling basis depending on COVID-19 vaccine supplies. Areas that are disproportionately impacted, at highest risk for the disease and underrepresented in vaccinations will receive top priority.
All clinic requests will be reviewed to ensure the organizations have access to adequate facilities needed. These facilities must have space for preparation and administration of vaccines while following social distancing guidelines.
Vaccine supplies remain very limited across North Carolina and all event requests will be managed by the health department, who will collaborate with Charlotte hospital systems to maximize the number of events held.
Have a relative or friend in another state and want to know when they can get vaccinated? Visit NBC News' Plan Your Vaccine site to find out about each state's vaccine rollout plan.