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Forsyth County Public Health, Wake Forest Baptist Health and Novant Health joining forces to vaccinate the community 

WINSTON-SALEM — The Forsyth County Department of Public Health, Wake Forest Baptist Health and Novant Health are collaborating to increase the number of COVID-19 vaccinations administered in Forsyth County.

To help meet the needs of the community, these three organizations will remain in constant communication, and will share staff and transfer doses of the vaccine with each other as needed to help meet the demand, which, at this time, far exceeds the supply of vaccine allocated by the state. The goal of this collaboration is to provide first and second doses to at least 75% of the almost 300,000 adults who live in Forsyth County by late spring or early summer.

All three organizations are exhausting their current weekly allocations of the vaccine and, as of Jan. 25, they have collectively given 38,828 doses in Forsyth County.  Currently, they are all administering approximately 750 to 1,000 doses of the vaccine a day but together, have the capacity to provide up to 16,000 doses a day.

“We’re working together with our partners to quickly, efficiently and equitably vaccinate as many people as we can with the allocations of vaccine we receive,” said Forsyth County Health and Human Services Director and Deputy County Manager Shontell Robinson. “We have seen overwhelming demand for this safe and effective vaccine in our community and we urge the public to be patient as our supplies are currently limited, but we’re working hard to ensure that everyone who wants the vaccine can eventually get it.”

“Our primary objective right now is to work together to provide this safe and effective vaccine to as many eligible people as possible, especially those who have traditionally experienced challenges accessing health care,” said Wake Forest Baptist Health System President Dr. Kevin High. “It is crucial that we all come together during this time and demonstrate our dedication to keeping our community safe and healthy.”

“Our partnership with the Forsyth County Health Department and Wake Forest Baptist Health will support equitable vaccine allocation across our community,” said Dr. Pam Oliver, executive vice president and president of Novant Health’s physician network. “We are determined to vaccinate as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, but have been hindered by inadequate vaccine supply. Working together, we’ll ensure that vaccines reach everyone, regardless of zip code or healthcare provider.”

COVID-19 vaccines are both safe and effective. The vaccines were developed quickly, but were built upon years of work in developing vaccines for similar viruses. The vaccines were thoroughly tested and prevent 95% of all COVID-19 illnesses. There is no COVID-19 virus in the vaccines; instead, the vaccine imitates the infection, so that the body creates antibodies for it.  Some people may have temporary reactions after being vaccinated, such as swelling from the injection, tiredness or feeling achy for a day or two.