After nearly a full year battling COVID-19 throughout our communities, Atrium Health was proudly able to ring in 2021 as the first health system in the state to begin administering vaccines to the public. Read more to learn how we’re improving access to vaccines across the state for those who qualify.

Coronavirus Updates | one year ago

Health, Hope and Vaccinations – for ALL Who Are Eligible

After nearly a full year battling COVID-19 throughout our communities, Atrium Health was proudly able to ring in 2021 as the first health system in the state to begin administering vaccines to the public. Read more to learn how we’re improving access to vaccines across the state for those who qualify.

How is Atrium Health making sure communities have access to the COVID-19 vaccineAre vaccines only available through Atrium Health in Mecklenburg County? Do I have to be a patientThese are some of the questions that we are working to address as Atrium Health continues to work with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) to offer as many vaccinations to the public, as quickly as possible.  

Calling all community members ages 65 years and older 

According to state guidance, all healthcare workers and long-term care staff and residents fall into Group 1, and are able to schedule their vaccine appointments through the healthcare system they are employed by.  

And as of January 6, 2021, the state expanded their eligibility requirements to Group 2, qualifying all community members ages 65 and over as eligible to receive the vaccine – regardless of economic status, current health conditions, or place of residence 

Vaccination for communities near and far 

With millions of people across the state now eligible for their vaccination appointment, Atrium Health has made it priority to administer vaccines efficiently and effectively to these select groups. The idea of mass vaccination event was soon born, and newly established public-private partnership with Atrium Health, Honeywell, Tepper Sports & Entertainment and the Charlotte Motor Speedway would make it happen 

Through the first mass vaccination event at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, we were able to offer nearly 16,000 first dose vaccinations to area residents and individuals from more than half of the counties in North Carolina over the course of the three-day weekendThese appointments were offered to both patients and non-patients of Atrium Health.  

Milton and Lang Ellis, ages 66 and 65, were among the many who eagerly commuted from out of town to receive their vaccinesDriving from their hometown in Mount Airy, North Carolina, the couple welcomed the two-hour road trip to reach the mass vaccination event at the speedway 

“We’ve got children and grandchildren. But we’ve been almost totally isolated from that life. We wouldn’t have waited one more minute. We would’ve driven to Atlanta. Our dog came with us so she could see us get well.”

– Milton and Lang Ellis, Surry County

Milton and Lang Ellis received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Charlotte Motor Speedway at its first mass vaccination event 

With the next three-day mass vaccination event at Bank of America Stadium, running Friday, Jan. 29 – Sunday, Jan. 31, we are planning on vaccinating an additional 19,000 people. They are administered to anyone who has an appointment and is eligible, based on the state’s current criteria of individuals ages 65 or older. This event’s location especially caters to those who live and work in underserved areas, due to the stadium’s proximity to the light rail and other public transportation.  

We fully expect and are looking forward to welcoming thousands of people who scheduled their drive-through or walk-up appointments from the local and surrounding communities. 

Supplying vaccine doses to rural areas in need 

In addition to our many vaccination events across the Charlotte region, we continue to supply hospitals in rural parts of North Carolina with doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, including Scotland Health Care System and Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge, both of which have a management agreement with Atrium Health.  

We’re also proud to continue to partner with local health departments in rural parts of the state, as coordinated and directed by NCDHHS, to supply thousands of COVID-19 vaccination doses for Anson, Cabarrus, Cleveland and Stanly counties.    

“Words cannot describe how grateful I am to have received the vaccine today. All of the scientists and frontline workers are doing a remarkable job educating the community about the vaccine. We must continue to listen to them – it's the only way we can fight this thing and return to some normalcy."  

– Ella Mae Small, Cabarrus County 

Ella Mae Small receives the first dose of her COVID-19 vaccine at Atrium Health Cabarrus

Prioritizing Underserved Communities 

On top of the latest mass vaccination event at Bank of America Stadium which is prioritizing access to those who live in underserved areasAtrium Health recently announced a new collaborative, “Community Immunity For All” as an additional effort to vaccinate underserved communities and those most disproportionately affected by COVID-19.  

As a part of this initiative, Atrium Health is coordinating on-site vaccination events in partnership with local organizations reaching African American and Hispanic communities to ensure equity in access to safe, effective and FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines. With the support of our growing list of community partners, “Community Immunity For All” will eliminate barriers to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, including holding vaccination events at community partner host sites, providing support with appointment scheduling and transportation, and ensuring culturally responsive vaccine education and resources for community members. 

“There’s a lot of distrust in the African-American community. There’s a lot of information about the virus and the vaccine that we still don’t know. But the vaccine is always going to be better. There are overwhelming benefits that outweigh the cons. I’m a strong advocate of the vaccine.”

Cynthia C.  

Vaccine Resources 

  • 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.