Mass COVID-19 vaccination event begins at Greenville Convention Center with ‘soft open’ for appointees on Sunday


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Monday’s mass COVID-19 vaccination event at the Greenville Convention Center got an early start Sunday with a “soft open,” a Vidant Health official on location told WNCT on Sunday.

The official start to the mass vaccination, put together by Vidant Health and the Pitt County Health Department, is Monday morning. However, WNCT’s Ford Sanders reports the first round started on Sunday with the first batch of appointments starting at 1 p.m.

Organizers said they’re the first of what will eventually be thousands of vaccinations every week. Sunday’s appointments were few in number with the rest of the appointments scheduled for Monday and beyond.

“I’m thankful that I am able to get it,” said Meriel Fornes, a Greenville resident who got a vaccine shot.

People who got the shot on Sunday during the soft launch hope their neighbors will follow suit when they are eligible.

“I would say just go for it because I haven’t heard any backlashes about it and I think it is very good and would be very nice,” Fornes said.

Meriel Fornes, granddaughter, Melissa Fornes, said this was an opportunity her grandmother could not pass up.

“When she gets the special service of coming in today as one of the first ones here at the convention center it’s very exciting for me and I am glad I was able to take her, and we are keeping her healthy,” Melissa Fornes said.

Melissa Fornes is a nurse and said she knows the importance of the vaccine.

“I pray that everything goes well with everyone who is receiving it and that it does help stop all this that is going on in this world, making it weird now, so people are ready to get back to their regular lives,” Melissa Fornes said.

Meriel Fornes said she is grateful to be one of the first in the area to get the shot at the Greenville Convention Center mass vaccination site.

“I just hope and pray that it works, and I believe it will,” Meriel Fornes said.

The mass vaccination was announced earlier this week and was eligible to eligible community members throughout eastern North Carolina as defined by the state of North Carolina’s health guidelines. Appointments are be required for eligible community members.

Online scheduling began Friday and, after some technical issues with the online scheduling tool, people were able to log online and complete the scheduling process.

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