AVERY COUNTY — Avery County and the Avery County Health Department have announced that second dose COVID-19 vaccines will be available at the Avery County Agricultural Extension on Thursday, April 1, while first dose vaccines will be available and open to all adults on Thursday, April 8.
The second dose vaccine clinic will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Avery County Agricultural Extension at 661 Vale Road above Ingles in Newland on April 1. Patients must bring their white vaccine appointment card, and those who need to reschedule their appointment can do so by calling the Avery County Health Department at (828) 733-6031. First doses are not available for the week on March 29 to April 2.
Meanwhile, the county is preparing to begin administering first dose vaccines to all adults beginning on Thursday, April 8, at the agricultural extension building. Those eligible for the vaccine beginning on April 7 will now include health care workers and long-term care and staff, anyone 65 years of age or older, frontline essential workers, adults at high risk and anyone 18 years of age and older.
To make an appointment to receive the first dose of the vaccine on April 8, call (828) 733-8273. The call center will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Thursday. The county reminds patients to bring their insurance card and to wear appropriate clothing for easy access to the upper arm. Masks are required.
Additionally, free transportation to the vaccine clinic is available for Avery County residents through Avery County Transportation. Call (828) 733-0005 to arrange transportation if needed.
Furthermore, the Avery County Mobile Vaccination Clinic will be rolling to the Crossnore and Cranberry areas again on Wednesday, March 31, to vaccinate farmers, families and workers.
Avery County Manager Phillip Barrier reports that the county has been receiving a steady shipment of approximately 300 vaccines a week. However, the county did not receive a shipment for the current week.
“We’re meeting demand, and it will be interesting to see how the demand will change after (April) 7th, once we’re able to do everyone,” Barrier said.
The county has inquired with the state about receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine due to demand from some Avery residents about waiting to receive their shot until the single dose vaccine is available. The county had previously received some shipments of this vaccine from Watauga County to vaccinate farm workers.
As of March 29, Avery County has administered 5,057 first doses of the vaccine and has fully vaccinated 3,210 people, according to North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services data. Avery County has currently fully vaccinated 18.3 percent of its approximately 18,000 official residents, and at least 28.8 percent of its population are partially vaccinated.
Statewide, a total of 1,648,686 second dose vaccines have been administered, while 2,885,099 first doses have been administered. Additionally, 121,107 single-shot vaccines have been administered and a total of 4,654,892 shots have been administered overall.