Atrium Health Administers First Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine to Public

01.06.2021 Atrium Health News

More than 160,000 patients 75 and older invited to get the vaccine as part of Phase 1b, Group 1 

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 6, 2021  Early this morning, the first members of the general public began receiving the COVID-19 vaccine from Atrium Health, as North Carolina moved from Phase 1a to Phase 1b, Group 1, of its vaccine priority distribution plan. Atrium Health became the first health system in the region to begin providing mass vaccinations to a group of patients who are at least 75 years of age, following guidance from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.  

As North Carolina moves into this next phase of vaccinations, over 160,000 Atrium Health patients who are 75-years-old and older started receiving communications on Monday, Jan. 4 with details on how to schedule their vaccination appointment. Hundreds have already taken advantage and scheduled their appointments with ease through their existing MyAtriumHealth account. Those who don’t have a MyAtriumHealth account can create one or schedule a vaccination appointment by phone, if assistance is needed. Vaccination appointments are required due to current vaccine supply and storage requirements of the Pfizer-manufactured vaccine. 

Making this vaccine available to the many diverse communities that Atrium Health serves is crucial step closer to defeating this virus,” said Dr. Gary Little, chief medical officer at Atrium Health. “We’re working to ensure the distribution of the vaccine is inclusive anwith as few barriers as possibleScheduling and receiving the vaccine when it’s available is the best way we can all take part in ending this pandemic, while saving many lives in the process. 

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can help protect individuals, as it creates an antibody response in the body without having to become sick with the virus. If enough people get vaccinated, a large part of the population of an area will be immune to COVID-19, called herd immunity. Herd immunity makes it possible to protect the population from a disease, including those who can't be vaccinated, such as some pregnant women, children and newborns. Experts say that more than 70% of the population will have to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity.  

As Atrium Health continues to administer the vaccine to the healthcare workers it employs, the ability to offer it to the public is a welcome opportunity to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virusend the pandemic and return hospital capacity rates to normal. The first COVID-19 vaccines were given to Atrium Health teammates on Monday, Dec. 14. In just three weeks, more than 20,25teammates have received their initial dose across the Atrium Health enterprise in the Carolinas and in Georgia, with over 10,750 in the Charlotte region aloneAdditionally, as of Monday, Jan. 4, some healthcare workers have begun to receive their second and final dose to be fully inoculated. 

Currently, two vaccines are FDA-approved to prevent COVID-19, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Atrium Health was the first health system in the state to vaccinate a diverse group of its teammates with the Pfizer vaccine, and among the first in the Southeast region to receive the first doses of the Moderna vaccine.   

As a nationally recognized leader in shaping health outcomes through innovative research, education and compassionate patient care at hundreds of care locations throughout the Carolinas and Georgia, Atrium Health is bringing the most advanced therapies to patients and anticipates treatment trials it's running will guide physicians closer to identifying additional safe and effective treatments. To date, Atrium Health has conducted 10 clinical trials to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Atrium Health also opened a voluntary vaccine research registry, which allows people to learn more about vaccine research and development. People who take part in the registry may be invited to participate in COVID-19 vaccine trials in the future and will be provided with convenient access to trials, should they be interested. Participating in clinical trials is a way for people to receive potentially lifesaving medications before they become FDA-available. Clinical trials are crucial for advancing research and bringing new vaccines to the general public safely.  

For more information about Atrium Health’s COVID-19 research registry, call 833-451-1188, visit AtriumHealth.org/COVIDVACCINE or email STRIVEVaccineRegistry@atriumhealth.org. 

QUICK FACTS: 

  • Atrium Health begamass public vaccinations of those 75 years and older, as part of North Carolina’s Phase 1b, Group 1, at 7 a.m., on Wednesday, Jan. 6. 
  • Over 160,000 current patients who qualify for the vaccinations started receiving communication from Atrium Health on Monday, Jan. 4, with details about scheduling their vaccination appointment. 
  • Those 75-years-old and older can easily schedule their vaccination appointment through an existing MyAtriumHealth account 
  • Those who don’t have a MyAtriumHealth account can simply create one or schedule a vaccination appointment by phone, if assistance is needed. 
  • Vaccination appointments are required due to current vaccine supply and storage requirements of the Pfizer-manufactured vaccine. 
  • The first COVID-19 vaccines were given to Atrium Health teammates on Monday, Dec14.  
  • In just three weeks, more than 20,250 teammates have received their initial dose across the Atrium Health enterprise in the Carolinas and Georgia, with over 10,750 in the Charlotte region alone. 
  • As of Monday, Jan. 4, some healthcare workers have begun to receive their second and final dose to be fully inoculated. 
  • More information about Atrium Health’s vaccination plans for the public, including FAQs, can be found at AtriumHealth.org/COVID19Vaccine  


About Atrium Health 

Atrium Health is a nationally recognized leader in shaping health outcomes through innovative research, education and compassionate patient care. Atrium Health is an integrated, nonprofit health system with more than 70,000 teammates serving patients at 42 hospitals and more than 1,500 care locations. It provides care under the Wake Forest Baptist Health name in the Winston-Salem, North Carolina, region and Atrium Health Navicent in Georgia. Atrium Health is renowned for its top-ranked pediatric, cancer and heart care, as well as organ transplants, burn treatments and specialized musculoskeletal programs. A recognized leader in experiential medical education and groundbreaking research, Wake Forest School of Medicine is the academic core of the enterprise, including Wake Forest Innovationswhich is advancing new medical technologies and biomedical discoveries. Atrium Health is also a leading-edge innovator in virtual care and mobile medicine, providing care close to home and in the home. Ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals for cancer treatment and in eight pediatric specialties, Atrium Health has also received the American Hospital Association’s Quest for Quality Prize and was the recipient of the 2020 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Health Equity Award for its efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in care. With a commitment to every community it serves, Atrium Health seeks to improve health, elevate hope and advance healing – for all, providing more than $2 billion per year in free and uncompensated care and other community benefits.