CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – Typically a space for conferences, the UNC Friday Center in Chapel Hill has transformed into a large-scale vaccine clinic.
“We came and toured the space and knew it’d be the perfect space to hold the clinic,” said Elizabeth Ransey, director of clinical business operations for UNC faculty physicians.
People are helping from the Friday Center, UNC health system, university, school of medicine and more.
“It takes a village. There’s a lot of people working to make this happen,” said Dr. David Wohl, professor of medicine.
UNC Health opened the clinic last Monday. They started out by vaccinating 200 people a day. They’re now vaccinating close to 900 people a day at the site.
It’s all by appointment only.
They aim to get people registered, vaccinated, and out the door within an hour. Everyone leaves with their second dose scheduled.
“Very organized, pain-free, piece of cake,” said Walter Mark Manduke from Cary.
“This whole entire operation was set up perfectly,” said Roxanna Hunt from Raleigh. “It’s a relief.”
“Everyone was so positive and that’s what’s needed when you’re worried about what’s going to happen,” said Bunny Thompson.
Those who are getting vaccinated said they’re ready to help curb the spread of the virus and return to what they love.
“Dining out. We miss dining out,” said Manduke.
“We’ve been missing being able to spend time with our grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” said Hunt.
“Just looking forward to getting out a little more,” said Roger Thompson. “It feels good. Very painless.”
The Thompsons said they’d also like to get back to socializing, traveling and volunteering.
“We knew how important it was for us to get this shot,” said Bunny Thompson. “I think we can breathe a little bit easier after the second shot even more.”
UNC Health’s doing vaccinations from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., six days a week at the site.
“Every day it’s problem solving and figuring out where you need more resources,” said Ransey.
They’ve focused on cutting down lines and cycling people through in 45-50 minutes.
Appointments are guaranteed vaccines, which include the second dose.
“We’re eager to jab as many people as possible,” said Wohl.
They’re on schedule to vaccinate 1,800 people a day come February. That’s because they’ll be administering both first and second doses.
They want to expand their days and hours, but they aren’t guaranteed enough vaccine to do that.
“It’s challenging to plan operations because we never know what our next week is going to be,” said Ransey.
They have the space and staff.
“We’re really waiting on vaccine supply,” said Ransey.
They hope to get more supply so they can help save more people.
“Every person we vaccinate I’m feeling is another person who will not end up in our ICU,” said Wohl.