[January 15, 2021] —

BOLIVIA, N.C. – The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday that all health care workers and anyone 65 years and older will be next to receive COVID-19 vaccines after updating its vaccination plan in response to new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Following these updates, the state is currently in Group 2 of its plan.

Brunswick County Health Services, Novant Health and Dosher Memorial Hospital are updating their vaccination plans to align with the state plan. However, individuals are asked to remain patient as vaccine availability still remains limited in Brunswick County.

Eligible individuals under Group 2 include anyone 65 years or older, regardless of health status or living situation. More than 46,000 Brunswick County residents are aged 65 years or older—nearly a third of the county’s total population. Of that number, more than 31,000 residents fall between the ages of 65 and 74, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Vaccinations will also continue for members of the population who are eligible under Group 1 (health care workers and long-term care staff and residents) along with efforts to administer second doses of the vaccines to individuals.

At this time, community members ages 65 and older and health care workers who are interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine should sign up for a Novant Health MyChart account. Signing up for a MyChart account does not mean you will immediately receive a notification to schedule an appointment. You will be contacted through your MyChart account and your registered email when you can start scheduling an appointment.

The number of appointments available at the clinic depends on the number of vaccines the state sends to the county every week. Most appointments at the vaccination clinic are already booked through Friday, Jan. 22, so individuals who create an account now should anticipate that any available appointments they are notified about will fall after this date.

Brunswick County’s Public Health Call Line is currently experiencing a significant number of calls. To avoid waiting on the phone, you are encouraged to visit our dedicated COVID-19 vaccine webpage first for answers to frequently asked questions and more at brunswickcountync.gov/vaccines.

Recipients do not need to be affiliated with a specific healthcare system to sign up for MyChart or to receive a vaccination. Due to limited vaccine availability, vaccinations will be by appointment only and at a centralized location in Brunswick County.

Individuals should sign up for MyChart instead of calling Brunswick County Health Services to try to schedule an appointment moving forward.

If you do not have computer or internet access to create a MyChart account, you are encouraged to first ask family or friends to help you sign up online to avoid waiting on the phone for help. If you still need assistance, contact the Public Health Call Line. You will be asked to provide your name, phone number, birth date, and an email (if available). You will receive a phone call in the future from Novant Health to help you create a MyChart account over the phone. This call might come from a private or unknown number.

  • Public Health Call Line: 910.253.2339 (Open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding county-observed holidays)

The NCDHHS also announced Thursday that it would partner with Novant Health to host a community vaccine event in Brunswick County. More details about community vaccine events will be shared when details are available.

According to the NCDHHS dashboard, 2,321 individuals in Brunswick County have received their first dose of the vaccine and 534 completed their full series as of Jan. 13.

The joint clinic in Brunswick County vaccinated more than 770 individuals, ages 75 and older, with their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine this week (Jan. 11-14). This number does not account for the number of individuals vaccinated who fall in Group 1 (formerly Phase 1a).

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, visit NovantHealth.org/CovidVaccine or brunswickcountync.gov/vaccines.