As we move through the early, hectic days of COVID-19 vaccine distribution, questions continue to roll in. The first thing to know: Supplies are limited and delays are expected. More appointments will be added based on supply. And Novant Health is planning to open 6 mass vaccination sites across the state

As distribution plans evolve, you’ll find the latest up-to-date information at NovantHealth.org. 

1. When is it my turn to get the vaccine?

Novant Health is following state guidelines for distribution of the vaccine. At the moment, people 65 and older, known as group 2, are eligible to receive the vaccine. To see the complete state schedule for different groups, click here.

2. How much will the vaccine cost?  

There is no charge to receive the vaccine and anyone who is 65 or older is encouraged to make an appointment when one becomes available. Keep in mind, supplies are limited and delays are expected. 

3. How did changes in state classifications affect when I get the vaccine?

In mid-January, North Carolina changed its wording around distribution from "phases" to "groups." It's important to note that it did not significantly shuffle the order of who can get the vaccine when. In line with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services guidelines, people who are at least 65 years old – regardless of health status or living situation – are now eligible. We encourage people to be patient, as it’s not yet known when future groups will become eligible for immunization. 

4. How do I sign up for the vaccine? 

Novant Health is contacting all patients directly when it’s time to schedule an appointment. You will receive a MyChart message with next steps to get the vaccine. If you do not already have a MyChart account, please register here. This is the most efficient and easiest way to keep up-to-date.

Please note: we will open additional appointments as supply allows. If an appointment is not yet available to you, we encourage you to check back for new messages on MyChart. Thank you for your patience.

5. Where can I get my vaccine when the time comes? 

Due to limited vaccine availability, Novant Health is only vaccinating at centralized locations in the Winston-Salem and Charlotte at the moment. But to speed delivery of vaccines, Novant Health will open six mass vaccination distribution sites across North Carolina. As more vaccines become available, the options will increase and patients will be kept up-to-date. 

6. Can I stop wearing a mask after I get my vaccine?

While taking special safety precautions for months on end has been difficult, public health experts agree that it’s critical that we all continue to wear face masks, wash our hands frequently and social distance. This includes people who have received both doses of the vaccine. This is the best way to keep those around us safe.

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For general information about the vaccine process, our communities can visit NovantHealth.org/CovidVaccine.

TOP PHOTO: Novant Health patient Dorothy Giles Ngongang receives a COVID-19 from nursing leader Nikki Nissen.