flu shots 3

Members of the North Carolina National Guard are shown helping load food items into residents’ cars during a free flu shot clinic and food distribution event at College of The Albemarle, Saturday, Oct. 10.

Teams from the North Carolina National Guard are in Elizabeth City and elsewhere across the Albemarle this week to assist Albemarle Regional Health Services in administering COVID-19 vaccinations.

Battle Betts, executive director of ARHS, explained that each National Guard unit that will be assisting with vaccinations this week consists of four medics and two support personnel.

Betts said some residents who’ve received their first dose of vaccine have been concerned or confused about getting the necessary second dose. He said that when recipients are given a date for their second dose, it’s an on-or-after date. It is not necessary to get the second dose on that exact date, but either on that date or after, he said.

ARHS, meanwhile, announced Tuesday that it will begin accepting registrations for a second dose of the vaccine from residents who’ve already received their first dose. Anyone who has received a first dose of the vaccine should sign up for their second dose at ARHS’ website, http://www.arhs-nc.org/information/COVID-19/vaccines/.

When signing up for the second dose, ARHS said it’s important residents register using the same county link they used for their first dose.

“This will ensure the second dose matches the first dose as far as vaccine brand (i.e. Pfizer or Moderna),” ARHS said.

ARHS reiterated that the date on the vaccine card first-dose recipients were issued is the “suggested earliest date” for receiving the second dose. Their second dose can be administered on or after that date, the agency said.

“The series (of vaccines) will not need to be restarted if you receive (the second dose) after that date,” ARHS said. “We will be working to get all individuals (vaccinated) as close to that date as possible.”

Someone from ARHS will contact the registered person to provide them information on the date and time of their appointment for their second vaccination, the agency said.

Those registered for a second dose should bring their vaccination card to the clinic, ARHS said. Those who do not may face delays getting the vaccine or could even be turned away and rescheduled for another appointment, the agency said. That’s because ARHS has to verify, for safety reasons, that the person has received a first dose of the vaccine.

ARHS also reiterated that it is also opening up vaccine registrations this week for adults 65 and older as well as health care workers. Anyone in those target groups who is interested in receiving the vaccine should complete the registration form at ARHS’ website, the agency said.

The agency reminded persons that they can only register for the vaccine in one county; those registering in more than one county will have their name removed. Those contacted and given a date to show up for a clinic will be required to re-register if they don’t show up for that clinic. AHRS also said if it reaches capacity for the first-dose clinics, it will be opening a new registration on Monday, Jan. 25.