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The original item was published from 1/8/2021 4:23:21 PM to 1/10/2021 1:23:57 PM.

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Posted on: January 8, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Orange County Health Department Gives Update on Phase 1b COVID Vaccine Effort

Phase 1b Group 1 Vaccine Graphic

The Orange County Health Department has more than 4,200 people signed up for vaccination in Phase 1b Group 1 for individuals 75 and older since registration opened, Jan. 7, and appointment slots are being filled already for next week.

As of this morning, the department has vaccinated 999 community members. Most of the vaccinations were administered to those eligible in Phase 1a, including health care workers and staff caring for and working directly with COVID-19 patients. Of the vaccinations, 654 were administered last week. 

The county began vaccinations for Phase 1b Group 1 Thursday. There is no requirement to have qualifying chronic conditions to be eligible in this group for ages 75 and older.


No identification is needed to sign up for a vaccine. It is faster to sign up if you have an email address, but sign-up can also be completed by calling 919-913-8088. After you have filled out the vaccine interest form, you will receive an email in about 24 to 48 hours from the COVID-19 Vaccine Management System. If registering by phone, someone will assist you with all the required steps.

Follow this three-step process to make an appointment with the Health Department:

  1. Complete the Vaccine Interest Form (VIF) at ― Call 919-913-8088 if you don’t have access to a computer or would like help filling out the form. Foreign language interpreters are available. The department is receiving a high call volume. Please be patient for a return call if you decide to leave a voicemail. 
  2. Register for the vaccine ― You will receive an email in 24 to 48 hours with a link to an online registration form to enter your data into the COVID-19 Vaccine Management System (CVMS). This will take several minutes to complete. The form is only available in English, but county staff are available at 919-913-8088 to help register people in other languages. 
  3. Schedule your vaccine appointment ― When you are eligible to receive a vaccine, you will receive another email from the Health Department to schedule an appointment. Only an appointment for the first of the two vaccine doses can be scheduled at this time.

UNC Health has opened registration for its local points of dispensation:

No one from Orange County or the state will ask for payment on the phone. The vaccine is free, even if you don’t have insurance. If you do have insurance, please bring your information with you to the appointment.

Points of Vaccination

The locations for the Health Department’s points of vaccination (also called Points of Dispensing, or a POD) will change from week to week and day to day. UNC Health also has points of vaccination at its Chapel Hill and Hillsborough campuses.

North Carolinians can get the vaccine outside their home county, but they are encouraged to check with their local health department first. The state has prioritized access points for the vaccine in every county. 


Residents must make an appointment for vaccination. Appointments are required to better manage crowds and to better track the department’s available supply of vaccine. Anyone without an appointment will be turned away from a point of vaccination with directions on how to sign up.

The number of appointments per day will depend on the number of doses the department receives from the state. This can vary between 100 and 300 appointments per day at this time and may be even smaller for the targeted vaccination events the Health Department will have for Phase 1b Group 1.

The Health Department is not yet making appointments for the second dose vaccinations. When community members get their first shot, they are given a card with their vaccine information. Later, they will receive another email from the Health Department to make the appointment for their second shot.

Vaccine effectiveness

The vaccine takes 10 to 14 days to become effective. The first dose provides some protection 10 to 14 days after it has been received. A second shot (called the booster) is needed to achieve 95% effectiveness against COVID-19, with protection reached 10 to 14 days after the booster is received.

Anyone who is vaccinated still needs to wear a mask, wait 6 feet apart from others and wash their hands often. The county’s COVID-19 numbers are high. See this week’s data:

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