Hickory – As the state’s vaccine rollout plan opened up to everyone over age 16 on April 7, Catawba County Public Health, Catawba Valley Health System and Frye Regional Medical Center will continue to provide a joint vaccination appointment request process through www.CatawbaVaccine.org. Due to limited vaccine supply and high demand for vaccination appointments, individuals who request appointments through www.CatawbaVaccine.org should expect to wait a few weeks before appointments become available.
When an appointment becomes available, individuals who have sent in a request through www.catawbavaccine.org will be contacted by a scheduler to coordinate their appointment location, date and time. No appointments will be made by phone. Individuals without internet access may call the COVID-19 Referral Line at 828-282-2002, to reach a referral specialist who can assist individuals with completing the online appointment request form.
Several other providers in Catawba County are offering vaccinations and can be found at https://myspot.nc.gov/.
Vaccinations are particularly important for people who have underlying medical conditions, which can increase the risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19. Nearly all Catawba County residents who have died from COVID had at least one chronic condition and/or were over age 65.
“Because more than half of the adults in our community are affected by at least one chronic condition, tens of thousands of our county’s residents are at increased risk of complications from COVID-19,” said Catawba County Public Health Director Jennifer McCracken. “Every vaccination represents one fewer person who is at risk of experiencing severe illness or death from COVID-19 or of spreading it to someone more vulnerable.”
All three of the vaccines currently available in the U.S. are highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death, even with the different variants that have emerged recently. This is why the CDC recommends that people get the first vaccine available to them and to not hold out for one over the other.
The vaccines work by imitating the COVID-19 infection so that our bodies think a germ like the virus is attacking. This creates the antibody defenses we need to fight off COVID-19 if or when we come into contact with the real germ later on.
Tens of thousands of people participated in clinical trials for the three currently available vaccines to see if they are safe and effective. No major safety concerns were found by people in the trials, manufacturers or the FDA.
“There are two important reasons for getting the vaccine – for your own health and for the health of others. COVID-19 is an unpredictable illness, in that some people experience only mild symptoms, while others experience severe illness that can cause hospitalization and death. Some will have it for a few days, while others will be affected for months. Because we can’t predict who or how COVID will strike, everyone should consider getting vaccinated,” said McCracken.
People who are unsure about the vaccine should contact their health care provider to discuss the potential risks and benefits of vaccination.