WNC COVID-19 Regional Community - June 11, 2021

June 14, 2021

Friday, June 11, 2021


As more and more of us become fully vaccinated, we are beginning to take off our masks and gather with friends and family again. The end of the pandemic seems finally within sight. We can’t completely let down our guard, however. Vaccines are not yet available for children under the age of 12, and more than half of WNC residents remain unvaccinated against COVID-19.

This month’s newsletter provides information and resources to help you and those you care about make it safely to the other side of this pandemic.


To receive monthly updates from the Mountain Area Health Education Center, subscribe below:

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Five Things


In this month’s news report you’ll find

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WNC Trends

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Top 3 Must Reads


What About Side Effects?


We’re Hiring!

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Community Resources

WNC COVID-19 Trends




More than half of all adults in the U.S. have been fully vaccinated, and more than 63% of adults have had at least one dose. Those 12 years and older are not far behind. Here in North Carolina, new COVID-19 infections have dropped steadily, but vaccinations are lagging behind national averages with only 54% of adults vaccinated with at least one dose. In Western North Carolina, even fewer adults are fully vaccinated, and some WNC communities are still reporting substantial community spread.

Clearly, we still have work to do to make sure we all make it through the pandemic safely.


June “Must Reads”




Answers to Your Questions About COVID Vaccines and Kids. This New York Times article addresses common questions parents may have about dosing, side effects, and safety with other vaccinations.

9 Questions About Traveling with Kids.
This Washington Post article summarizes COVID-19 prevention guidance for families with children including travel safety, masking, and summer gatherings.

You Don't Have To Suffer To Benefit From COVID Vaccination. This NPR story explains common vaccine side effects, why some folks are eager to experience them, and what to do if you don’t have them.


What About Those Side Effects?




If you haven’t gotten a COVID-19 vaccine yet, you may be wondering about side effects. Some people say they weren’t prepared for the fever, headache, or fatigue they experienced after getting their vaccination. Others don’t experience any side effects and then wonder if they are protected against COVID. So, what’s the deal?

The good news is that all three approved vaccines - Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson - are highly effective at preventing severe COVID-related illness, hospitalization, and death. You might think of these as the most serious side effects associated with COVID-19. There can also be long-term impacts for those who are infected that can include the loss of taste or smell, organ damage, and “brain fog.”

It is true that some people experience mild to moderate symptoms for a day or two after vaccination. Most symptoms can be alleviated with over-the-counter medications and/or extra rest. And some people experience no noticeable side effects. Since it’s not easy to predict which response you’ll have, there are a few things you can do to prepare:

  • Plan a down day (or two). Get your vaccine at the end of your work week so you can have a day or two to rest. Ask another family member or friend to prepare a meal or plan to have leftovers. If you have a medical procedure scheduled, talk to your provider first.
  • Take good care. Drink plenty of fluids, get enough rest, and take an over-the-counter pain reliever, if needed. Take it easy while your body is building its immune response. You may be more likely to have side effects with your second dose, but they should only last a day or two.
  • Focus on the positive. Life on the other side of the mask is good. So is being able to gather with friends and family members and travel more freely. Feeling a little run down for a day or so is a small price to pay for peace of mind and strong COVID-19 protection.


Kick Off Summer & Kick Out COVID




Are you planning to go to GRINDfest or Hola Asheville this year? Do you still need a COVID-19 vaccine?

MAHEC healthcare providers and community partners will be on hand at both events on June 19 and 20 from 10 am to 4 pm at GRINDfest in the River Arts District and on June 20 from 11 am to 7 pm at Hola Asheville in Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville.

The vaccination process is quick and easy, and you’ll walk away with an extra layer of protection that will last all summer long (and beyond). The one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be available as well as the two-dose Pfizer vaccine that is approved for people 12 and older.

If you aren’t planning to attend these community celebrations, you can still get vaccinated at one of the many vaccine providers listed below. Many offer walk-in (no appointment needed) service:

Need a Ride?

  • Mountain Mobility (Buncombe County)
  • Public Transit, free transportation to vaccine sites
  • Ride United NC (United Way, NCDOT partnership) free rides to vaccine sites via Lyft for low-income residents; call 1-844-771-RIDE
  • Vamos Carolina, roundtrip transportation to vaccine sites across WNC; call 828-989-5248


Have a Passion for Community Health?




If you’d like to put that passion to work, we may have a job (or two) for you!

MAHEC is currently recruiting for two full-time positions in support of North Carolina’s statewide Community Health Worker (CHW) Initiative
. Both positions will focus on workforce development, education, and training to help community health workers achieve health equity as trusted community members, health educators, and navigators of complex healthcare systems and community-based services. These positions will provide key support for CHWs and stakeholders across North Carolina, including here in Western North Carolina. Applicants do not need to reside in WNC and, if selected, will be able to perform much of their work remotely.

If you or someone you know is interested in applying, please click on the job descriptions below!

MAHEC is a certified Living Wage employer through Just Economics of Western North Carolina. We offer excellent benefits and are committed to creating a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace. Black, Indigenous, People of Color and Spanish/English bilingual persons are strongly encouraged to apply.


COVID-19 Community Resources




COVID-19 Prevention & Vaccine Information

  • La Conversación Latinx doctors, nurses and promotoras provide facts and dispel misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines
  • The Conversation Digital Toolkit includes downloadable graphics, videos, social media content, and printable flyers with information on the COVID-19 vaccines
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Information with vaccine facts, a vaccine locator, transportation assistance, and other vaccination resources
  • Dear Pandemic is a group of female scientists and physicians who answer common questions related to COVID-19 and the vaccines
  • Getting Your COVID-19 Vaccine includes CDC guidance on how to be prepared before, during and after your vaccine appointment
  • Surviving and Thriving is a COVID-19 survival guide for Black women and their families
  • Vaccine Equity Resources include toolkits, data, and events curated by community health advocates to support those centering equity in vaccine distribution


Women & Children’s Health




Pandemic Relief

  • Buncombe County Residents may be eligible for assistance with rent, utilities, food, medical coverage, child care and other needs; call (828) 250-5500 for more information
  • Lifeline National Verifier is a temporary federal program that can help lower the monthly cost of your phone and/or internet service


Online Education




Bystander/Anti-Harrassment Training | Hollaback
Multiple dates

Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) 2-Day Workshop | Vaya Health
Wednesday & Thursday, June 2-3, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

COVID-19 and the Vaccine: African American Health Webinar Series | MAHEC

Let’s Talk COVID-19: The Vaccine Part I and Part II | YWCA of Asheville & BCHHS







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