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Less demand for COVID vaccines downsizes clinic, requires new outreach strategies

Vidant moved its vaccine operations to a smaller clinic Thursday while health teams brainstorm new ways to vaccinate the public.
Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 8:20 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Vidant Health moved its mass vaccination clinic at the Greenville Convention Center to a smaller location on Arlington Boulevard Thursday.

They say they will accommodate around 350 vaccinations each day in the building formerly known as Vidant Minor Surgery. That’s less than the 3,000 vaccinations per day at the convention center.

Though Vidant has given out almost 70,000 shots at the convention center and over 107,000 in their system overall, the president of Vidant Medical Group, Dan Drake, explained why there’s now a roadblock.

“For a large part, it’s really just about people being hesitant to get vaccinated,” he said. “Whether or not they’re hesitant because they aren’t worried anymore, or because they do have fears about the vaccine. So one of the things we’re trying to do is alleviate those concerns.”

Drake said they have been reaching out to patients who have not yet been vaccinated.

Meanwhile, a professor at the Brody School of Medicine, Paul Shackelford, said this is the time to find new strategies to both increase access to the vaccine and tackle hesitancy.

“We’re into the next cycle of this where we’re having to do a little bit more, put a little bit more effort per vaccine delivered to kind of get to folks,” he said.

Shackelford suggests connecting with point people in communities is the next big step.

“Communities that may be hesitant now, we have to make sure we come in with a trusted partner. Whether that’s a leader in that community, whether it’s a religious leader, often is the case,” he said.

As for Vidant’s operations, they will finish up 2nd shots at the convention center and start giving new doses at the new clinic.

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