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National Guard helps with COVID-19 vaccination

National Guard members are now helping the Forsyth Department of Public Health with its COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

Two teams of six National Guard members arrived on Monday, for a total of 12 National Guard members. Each team has members with medical training who can administer the vaccine, others who can help with data entry and support staff who can do a variety of jobs, including checking people in and educating them about the vaccine before they take it.

Public Health staff has been working seven days a week, except for holidays, since they received their shipment of vaccine on Dec. 22. As of Sunday, they’ve vaccinated approximately 3,500 people. They’re currently vaccinating healthcare workers and first responders who make up Phase 1a and people 75 and older who make up Group 1 of Phase 1b of the statewide vaccine rollout.

The response has been overwhelming since Public Health started taking appointments for this group, receiving 50,000 calls in just two and a half days. The appointment line is currently closed as Public Health staff fills the remaining open appointments by calling back people who previously called the appointment line. Public Health will inform the public when appointment options reopen.

Public Health is not accepting walk-ups for COVID-19 vaccination. If vaccine is available near the end of the day due to no-show appointments, those persons in Phase 1a and Group 1 of Phase 1b who are eligible to receive an appointment will be called and asked if they are available to come in to receive the vaccine on short notice.