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UPDATE: Health Department, Advent Covid vaccination slots are filled

Nearly 1,000 appointments were snapped up on Wednesday for upcoming Covid-19 vaccinations. The Henderson County Health Department opened its call center to book appointments for 700 shots while AdventHealth opened phone lines for 300 vaccinations on Sunday. The slots are now filled.


Earlier coverage:

When the Henderson County Department of Public Health began scheduling appointments for the Covid-19 vaccinattion a week ago, it had 1,000 appointments available. All were booked within the seven hours the call center was open.

On Jan. 13 the call center received approximately 19,000 telephone calls for 600 appointments that were still available. With calls overwhelming the phone system, the Health Department expanded the call system on Monday. Henderson County obligates all vaccines within the first 48 hours of receiving them. On Wednesday, Jan. 20, with a new supply of doses in hand and the enhanced call system in place, the Department of Public Health will again begin booking approximately 700 appointments. The call volume is expected to be heavy.

The number to call is 828-585-4700 between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. as supplies are available. A recorded message will play once all available appointments have been booked. Stay tuned to the Health Department’s webpage for current reporting on the status of the vaccine efforts in Henderson County.

Meanwhile, AdventHealth Hendersonville announced that it would hold a public Covid-19 vaccine clinic for people age 65 or older 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24. The vaccine clinic will take place at 1151 Naples Road directly across from the hospital in the former Fletcher Valley Market.

An appointment is required for the clinic, and walk-ins without an appointment will not be vaccinated. To schedule an appointment for the clinic on Sunday, call 828-687-5655. Once the appointments for all the available vaccine doses are scheduled, Advent will stop taking calls and will not take a waiting list.

AdventHealth Hendersonville received a vaccine shipment that includes enough doses to begin the public distribution clinics. “We have been working to reach this point for our neighbors in the community since the FDA cleared the first vaccine for emergency use," said Jennifer Taiwo, AdventHealth Hendersonville Administrative Director of Operations for Physician Services. "Now that we are in the final rounds of the first doses for our tier 1 health care workers, we are able to expand the distribution to our community and we are so thankful to see how many people want to get vaccinated.”

The phone line at Advent was experiencing heavy call volume, communications director Victoria Dunkle said.

"I just checked and we still have plenty of appointments for Sunday," she said around noon. "So our advice is for people to keep calling. Once the line picks up they may go into a hold message, but they should stay on the line so they will be answered in the order their call was received."

Just after 2 p.m. Dunkle sent an update that the appointments were nearly filled.

Visit the Advent website for updates.

Pardee UNC Health Care spokeswoman Erica Allison issued a statement on the hospital's vaccination status:

"We are currently working through our allocation of vaccines and in keeping with the NC DHHS policy of only sending vaccine doses as a vaccine provider’s supply is depleted, we did not receive an allocation for this week. 

"The Pardee COVID Vaccine call center schedules appointments M-F 8am - 5pm, with a limit of 50 callers at any one time. It is important to note that appointments made through our call center have never stopped. However, there are a limited number of online appointments. The online scheduling closes when all online available appointments are booked. 

"We will continue to open up additional slots as we receive vaccines and are able to expand resources, namely vaccinators and onsite clinical staff. To date, we are administering close to 500 vaccines each day and anticipate increasing that number in order to keep pace with NC DHHS expectations. 

"As the phasing and grouping from NCDHHS quickly changes, so too will our response to how we schedule and vaccinate the growing numbers who are now eligible. We are not placing people on a wait list; rather, we are actively trying to schedule people as rapidly as we can. On Tues., Jan 19, we received nearly 7,000 calls by noon; resulting in scheduled vaccinations through mid-February.  

"Clearly, the volume is high, mirroring the expectations throughout our community to get vaccines in arms. We are doing everything we can to make that happen and ask once more for patience as we work through this process."