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Pardee announces broad partnership for next vaccination phase

As Henderson County nears the transition to the second phase of Covid-19 vaccinations, Pardee UNC Health Care announced a broad partnership that will focus on logistics and workforce for what is anticipated to be a process over many months.


Pardee announced on Friday that it is actively working with Henderson County Department of Public Health, Blue Ridge Community College, Henderson County Emergency Management, Henderson County public schools and others to prepare for Phase 1B.

The Henderson County Department of Public Health will announce when the county officially moves into Phase 1B, Group 1 which will include anyone over 75 years of age. Once an official announcement is made, Pardee will share information on how vaccination appointments can be made.
Blue Ridge Community College has agreed to provide space for a clinic, for as long as it is needed, to assist with the vaccination process. This clinic is expected to open next week after Phase 1B is announced by the Health Department. As the clinic and the pre-registration system becomes available, that information will be shared with the public.
“We are eager to begin the process of vaccinating individuals over the age of 75 within our community,” said David Ellis, chief medical officer for Pardee UNC Health Care. “However, it is important for everyone to understand that this is a challenging logistical process with many moving parts. Please be patient with us and our partners as we finalize a process that will enable us to quickly and efficiently begin vaccinating those individuals who fall within Group 1 of Phase 1B - residents aged 75 year or older.”
“Just as we did with the early efforts to combat Covid-19 in working with our community partners to set up a mobile testing site, Blue Ridge is once again stepping up to play a vital role in this new phase of a county-wide COVID response,” BRCC President Laura Leatherwood said. “We are our community’s college and we will proudly remember this offer of assistance to our community and healthcare partners for decades to come.”
Ellis and Leatherwood implored the community to refrain from going to the BRCC campus in search of a vaccine clinic. No one will be able to get a vaccine without a scheduled appointment; there are no walk-up appointments. Once the pre-registration system is live, individuals will be able to call or go online to register. Once registered, they will be scheduled to receive a vaccine. Pardee also notes that appointments will be made available as they receive additional doses of the vaccine from the state.

Earlier this week, the Health Department issued a news release on th upcoming vaccination process and warned county residents to be patient.

"This whole campaign will take months, not weeks," the health officials said in a news release. "Everyone will eventually have access to a tested, safe and effective vaccine, but that will take months to achieve. We ask for patience as we navigate this process."

Phase 1b includes adults 75 years or older and frontline essential workers, specified by groups. Because there will not be enough vaccine for everyone in Phase 1b to be vaccinated at the same time, the phase is divided into three groups:
• Group 1: Anyone 75 years or older, regardless of health status or living situation.
• Group 2: Healthcare workers and frontline essential workers 50 years and older.
• Group 3: Healthcare workers and frontline essential workers of any age.
Essential workers are defined by the CDC as first responders, food and agricultural workers, grocery store workers, the education sector and childcare staff among others.
It is estimated there are at least 6,000 people in Henderson County in the 75+ age group who don’t reside in a long-term care facility. Until more information is gathered on Groups 2 and 3, it will difficult to estimate a timeline for completing Phase 1b, the Health Department said.