Duke, UNC Health ready if COVID-19 vaccine booster shots need to be given

North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – With Dr. Anthony Fauci saying we will likely need a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot – mass vaccination sites could return.

That partly depends on what time frame the CDC says you need a COVID-19 booster after your last shot.

UNC Health Care plans to close its current mass vaccination clinic at the Friday Center around the end of July.

“But what we’ll do then is move vaccine over to outpatient clinics and they’ll start administering. And if they’re unable to accommodate the volumes then we’ll consider opening up a site again where we can accommodate high volumes of patients,” said Elizabeth Ramsey, UNC Health Care director of Business Operations.

That volume could come with the amount of people needing a booster.

What may be different this time is how people are categorized in phases.

What will likely look the same is the process of signing up and getting a spot.

“We’ll probably have phone lines open where we’ll receive calls again to be able to get patients plugged in, if we have online options we’ll open those back up if we’re able to see patients through an online scheduling platform and I’m sure we’ll be doing outreach as well,” said Ramsey.

Which would include MyChart, texts and phone calls.

Duke Health is also monitoring what’s to come.

“Duke Health has successfully administered 285,432 vaccinations since December, setting up processes and clinics from scratch. While we are awaiting information from the FDA and vaccine developers about any potential boosters and how they would be administered, we are confident we would be able to meet this additional requirement to ensure that boosters are provided in a timely, safe and efficient manner,” said Duke Health in a statement.

On Capitol Hill Wednesday Fauci said, as with most vaccines, he doesn’t expect the protection of this vaccine to be “infinite” so at some point we’ll need a booster.

UNC Health will be open for anyone who needs it.

“We’ve seen a lot of non-UNC Health patients throughout the COVID vaccination process and we’re going to keep on seeing the patients of North Carolina to make sure everyone has access to a vaccine,” said Ramsey.

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