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Forsyth Health Department receives COVID-19 vaccine

The Forsyth County Department of Public Health receive d its first shipment of vaccine for COVID-19 on Dec.22 and will be administering it to heath care workers and long-term care residents and staff as part of the phased rollout for vaccinating the community.

Forsyth Public Health’s first shipment is 2,800 doses of the Moderna vaccine. It does not have to be kept at an ultra-cold temperature and can be stored in a regular freezer where it will remain stable for 30 days. To be effective, it requires two doses given 28 days apart.

The Forsyth County Department of Public Health received its first shipment of vaccine for COVID-19 on Dec. 22.

It is being administered to health care workers fighting COVID-19 and those who live and work at long-term care facilities as part of Phase 1a of the state’s vaccine rollout plan. It’s vitally important for the public to continue to wear masks, practice social distancing and wash their hands during the rollout.

This is the first of many shipments of vaccine, which will eventually be available for everyone who wants it. People will be notified when it’s their turn for the vaccine. Those who fall into Phase 1a and haven’t been contacted, please use the link on Forsyth Public Health’s website, forsyth.cc/PublicHealth.

About COVID-19 vaccines

The vaccines were developed quickly, building upon years of work in developing vaccines for similar viruses. The vaccines were thoroughly tested and proven to be effective. There is no COVID-19 virus in the vaccines; instead, the vaccine imitates the infection, so that the body creates antibodies for it.

The vaccines have been shown to have no major side effects. Some people may have temporary reactions after being vaccinated, such as swelling from the injection, tiredness or feeling off for a day or two.

About the phased vaccine rollout

Vaccine will eventually be available to everyone who wants it, but supplies are currently limited. Independent state and federal public health advisory committees have determined the vaccine should be initially given to those most at risk, reaching more people as more vaccine becomes available from January to June.

The phases for vaccine rollout are:

• 
Phase 1a — Health care workers fighting COVID-19 as well as long-term care residents and staff

• Phase 1b — Includes adults with two or more chronic conditions as defined by the CDC like serious heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, COPD and sickle cell disease, and those working in prisons, jails and homeless shelters

• Phase 2 — Adults over 65; people with one chronic condition; essential frontline workers like police, teachers and food processing; health care workers; and those living in prisons, homeless shelters or migrant and fishery housing

• Phase 3 — College and university students, K-12 students when there is an approved vaccine for children, and those employed in jobs that are critical to society who are at lower risk of exposure

• Phase 4 — Everyone who wants a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination