WNC COVID Update: Where's my vaccine? and four other things you should know

February 5, 2021

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Friday, February 5, 2021
As the rate of new infections begins to decline, WNC healthcare providers are focused on how to support vaccination for their patients and community members. This month’s report provides vaccine updates, resources, and tools to support communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and those living in low-wealth and rural communities.
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Five Things
In this month’s regional report you’ll find
Vaccine Icon.png WNC Trends & Vaccine Updates
Spotlight Icon.png Focus on Health Equity
IV Icon.png Monoclonal Antibody Infusion
COVID Book Icon Blue.png COVID-19 Practice Support
COVID Icon Blue.png NEW COVID-19 Resources and Trainings
WNC COVID-19 Trends
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Visit the UNC Gillings COVID-19 Dashboard for more NC data and trends.

New COVID-19 infections have begun to stabilize after peaking in the first week of January. However, positivity rates are still well above 5% in many WNC counties and statewide, prompting Governor Cooper to extend the state’s modified stay at home order through at least February 28.

Local health departments, hospitals, and FQHCs are struggling to keep up with overwhelming demand for COVID-19 vaccines still in limited supply. Scheduling has been complicated by last-minute allotments, diversion of vaccines to large-scale events, and logistical challenges.

Despite a bumpy rollout, North Carolina has administered more than 1 million doses, ranking 6th in the nation, delivering 100% of the total first doses required to prevent reduction in federal allotments.

Vaccines Supplies Still Limited But Expected to Increase

The NCDHHS vaccine data dashboard now includes information about vaccine doses promised to, received and administered by the state each week. The expanded dashboard also provides the total number of first doses administered by county of residence, race, ethnicity, age, and gender.

The state recently announced a two-part allocation process and three week’s advance notice to help vaccine providers with planning. A weekly minimum allocation will be based on county population data; set-aside allocations will prioritize

  • counties with more residents 65 and older from low-wealth and/or marginalized communities
  • new vaccine providers with capacity to reach rural and underserved communities
  • large-scale community events designed to increase access and promote equity

New NCDHHS guidance states that first doses received by vaccine providers on Tuesday or Wednesday must be used and entered into the COVID-19 Vaccine Management System (CVMS) by the following Monday or future allotments may be impacted.

Ensuring All WNC Residents Can Access Vaccines and Facts
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As vaccine supplies continue to be limited, state and local health departments are focused on ensuring equitable access through vaccine set-aside allocations, distribution to community-based health centers, transportation assistance, and sharing information to address vaccine hesitancy that may be rooted, in part, in historical injustices and current health inequities.

A number of resources are available in English and Spanish to support vaccine equity in the NCDHHS COVID-19 Vaccine Communications Toolkit, including a COVID-19 Vaccination 101 Presentation that can be used by healthcare providers, community health workers, organizations, and individuals to facilitate community conversations. Presenter support is available with one-hour trainings held on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Regional resources to support community conversations can be accessed here and include the #MyReasonWNC Partner Toolkit.

Be sure to check out our additional health equity resources below.

Monoclonal Antibody Infusion May Reduce COVID-19 Illness Severity
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In December, the FDA provided emergency use authorization for bamlanivimab (BAM), an experimental medicine used to treat mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 in adults and adolescents at high risk for developing severe COVID-19 illness. The monoclonal antibody infusion treatment takes one hour and may lessen the severity of illness and reduce hospitalizations when administered within the first 10 days of infection.

You can learn more in this fact sheet for healthcare providers. Patients who meet treatment criteria can be referred to

  • MAHEC (Buncombe)
  • Harris Regional Hospital (Jackson)
  • Pardee UNC Health Care (Henderson)
    Priority is given to patients at high risk for disease progression, especially those over age 65 and those with a BMI of 35 or greater. Call 828-694-4270 to determine appropriateness for referral.
COVID-19 Practice Support
The following guidance has been added to MAHEC’s COVID-19 Library Guides and/or has been recently published.
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NEW: The MAHEC Covid-19 Library Guide now has a section on Highlighted Recent Changes.
NEW Resources to Help You Serve Your Patients
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Provider Resources

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Equity Resources

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Patient Resources

NEW & Ongoing COVID-19 Virtual Trainings & Support
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COVID-19 Vaccination 101 Community Presenter Training (NCDHHS)
Tuesdays from 1:00 to 2:00 pm, Fridays from 10:00 to 11:00 am

Vaccination Q&A for Healthcare Workers and LTC Facility Staff (NCDHHS)
Friday, Feb. 5 at 2:00 pm

COVID-19 Vaccine: Virtual Town Hall (NIH & Curamericas Global)
Saturday, Feb. 6 at 1:00 pm

COVID-19 and the Vaccine: African American Health Webinar Series (MAHEC)
Monday, Feb. 8 at 4:30 pm | COVID-19 Vaccination 101
Thursday, Feb. 18 at 4:30 pm | Provider Forum
Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 4:30 pm | Community Leader Forum
Monday, Mar. 1 at 4:30 pm | Vaccine Hesitancy

Implicit Bias in Mental Health | Area L AHEC (NC AHEC)
Tuesday, Feb. 9 from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm

Trauma: The Effects of the Pandemic in African American Families | African American Conference on Disabilities
Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 12:00 pm EST

QPR Suicide Prevention Training, Vaya Health
Tuesday, Feb. 9 from 9:00 to 11:00 am | Tuesday, Feb. 23 from 2:30 to 4:30 pm

Office Hours with NCDHHS: COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan
Tuesday, Feb. 9, from 6:00 to 7:00 pm

The Effects of Historical Trauma in the Black Patient | MAHEC
Friday, Feb. 12 from 12:00 to 1:00 pm | Archived webinars available at avlaahs.net

Get the Scoop on Managing Stress Series (NC Governor’s Institute)
Tuesdays at 6:00 pm: 
Feb. 16 - Compassion, March 2 - Observing Your Use of Substances

COVID 19 Vaccine Administration | NCDHHS Medicaid Managed Care Series
Thursday, Feb. 18 from 5:30 to 6:30 pm

Navigating COVID-19 Webinar Series | NC AHEC & CCNC
Tuesday, Feb. 23 from 6:00 to 7:00 pm

The Power of Information: COVID-19 Vaccines - Facts, Fears and Faith | Equity Focused
Thursday, Feb. 25, at 7:00 pm (with NCDHHS’ Dr. Michelle Laws & Cornell Wright)

NCDHHS COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition
Wednesdays from 1:00 to 2:00 pm
Click link above and select “add to distribution list” to receive weekly meeting invitations

WCMS Virtual Yoga and Meditation with Dr. Robyn Tiger
Thursdays from 11:15 am to 12:30 pm
Contact Robyn to register for classes

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Archived Trainings

September 18September 4
August 21August 7
July 31July 24July 17July 10
July 2
June 26June 19June 12June 5
May 29May 22May 15May 8May 1
April 24April 17April 10
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Regional Response Partners
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