Albemarle Regional Health Services holds COVID-19 vaccine second dose clinic in Bertie County
The second dose clinic was held for N.C. residents who got the Moderna vaccine on or before Jan. 7.
WINDSOR, N.C. (WITN) - Albemarle Regional Health Services held a COVID-19 vaccine second dose clinic in Bertie County on Wednesday for those who received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine on or before Jan. 7.
Cars streamed through the clinic at the Bertie County High School in Windsor where Bertie County Emergency Services expected about 500 second doses to be administered.
For John Earley, 81, getting the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is special, especially when it’s with his wife.
“I feel just fine,” Earley said. “We do everything together. This is my second one, no problem with the first one, no problem with this one.”
It takes two doses of the Moderna vaccine to give the full level of protection from the coronavirus; so to make sure no dose is left behind, ARHS held the second dose clinic in Bertie and six other counties on Wednesday and Thursday.
ARHS said separating the first and second dose clinics works best for their processes.
While the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine primes a person’s immune system, the second dose helps boost the immune system and provides high level protection, ARHS public information officer Amy C. Underhill said.
“Individuals may experience side effects with each dose of the vaccine,” Underhill said in a statement when asked if there’s a difference in symptoms between the first and second dose. “Common side effects may include: pain and swelling at the injection site, fever, chills, tiredness and headache. In most cases, discomfort from fever or pain is normal. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider: If the redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours or if your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days.”
On Wednesday, eligible residents, some from Virginia, according to the Bertie County Emergency Services, pulled up to one of the four lanes assigned with their vaccine card that shows they got the first dose by the required date and can get the second dose.
Donna Bass, who got the vaccine with her 86-year-old mother, praised the process.
“We are thrilled, and they did such a wonderful job organizing this,” Bass said. “This is just, drive-thru, in-and-out, got it down, pat. I’m very impressed. My mother is 86 years old and we wanted to do whatever we could to protect her and since I spend a lot of time with her, we figured I’d stick my arm out too.”
ARHS said processes for these vaccine events are running smoothly due to the combined efforts of their partnering agencies and volunteers.
“Patience and support from our community members has also been the key to our progress thus far,” ARHS said.
Some North Carolinians left the site feeling relieved with hopes to see their loved ones in person, including a third-grade teacher from Murfreesboro, N.C.
“It feels great because I am a third-grade teacher at Riverview Elementary School in Murfreesboro North Carolina,” Alicia Myrick Fennell said. “And I am ready for the kids to come back, only when it’s safe.”
Fennell said she missed her kids amid the pandemic, but has faith in virtual learning and looks forward to reuniting face-to-face.
“I chose to get [the vaccine] because I feel it’s safe and I’m just going to, I trust God, and I’m going to pray about it and leave it in God’s hands.”
For Ollie Bond, getting the vaccine means an opportunity to continue living a healthy life while in her 90s.
“Everything went well and thank God I get the second shot,” Bond said. “And I hope I continue to feel as well as I feel now.”
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