To speed delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations to a public desperate to move on from life in a pandemic, Novant Health will open six mass vaccination distribution sites across the North Carolina.

The decision comes after a commitment by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) to increase its COVID-19 vaccine supply allocation. Novant Health has requested 95,000 doses a week to meet high demand and ensure equitable and efficient distribution.

If Novant Health receives that amount, it has the capability to administer 1 million doses by the beginning of April. Locations will be added to include community and corporate partners soon.

“Our plan not only optimizes for speed, scale and efficiency, but more importantly, ensures equity for all,” said Carl S. Armato, president and CEO of Novant Health. “At the end of the day, our collective goal should be to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible, leaving no dose unused and no community behind.”

While more details are forthcoming, the mass vaccination sites will cover 14 counties and more than quadruple the amount of appointments available in each community.

The state’s commitment to increasing allocation comes at a critical time with its decision to now offer the vaccine to anyone 65 and older. To ensure additional populations across all communities are able to access the vaccine as soon as they become eligible, Novant Health’s mass distribution plan can accommodate up to 20,000 vaccines a day.

Here’s a few key strategies for executing the unprecedented plan:

  • Novant Health is partnering with climate innovator Trane Technologies, who will provide large-capacity SuperFreezers to support safe and ultra-cold storage of the vaccine, as well as logistics expertise.
  • Novant Health is working with the Charlotte Hornets to utilize Spectrum Center in various activations during the vaccine distribution process. The Uptown arena would provide people easy access to the light-rail line.
  • Novant Health team members are also coming out of retirement as part of “Operation All In,” to help cope with the current COVID-19 surge and assist with vaccinations.

As vaccinations continue, public health experts stress that we’ll all need to 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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