CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Atrium Health will hold its second mass vaccination event on Friday, this one at Bank of America Stadium. They plan to vaccinate 19,000 people in groups 1 and 2. That is healthcare workers and anyone over the age of 65.
Friday's clinic runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Those with a walk-up appointment can park for free at the Legacy Union parking deck on 720 South Church Street. Turn left onto Stonewall Street and head towards the stadium. It's less than a half-mile walk to the North Gate on Graham Street. Volunteers and wheelchairs will be at the exit of the parking deck to help.
The drive-up entrance is at 401 Graham Street.
Atrium officials are asking people to not arrive more than 15 minutes early to ensure social distancing.
Many people are looking forward to these appointments, including a local mom who is a full-time caregiver to her daughter who is at high risk of getting severely sick from COVID-10. She's relieved she was able to get an appointment under group 1.
“Just tears of relief,” Rochelle Wilensky said. On Wednesday, she was notified that she was able to schedule an appointment. She got one for Sunday at Bank of America Stadium.
She’s not a health worker caring for COVID-19 patients or 65, but because she’s a home caregiver to her daughter, she falls under group 1.
“Even though we're not MDs, when you're your child's caregiver and they have complex medical needs, you honestly feel like a nurse part of the time. I mean I haven’t been able to have a full-time job since I had my daughter,” she said.
Her 4-year-old has a rare disease making her immunocompromised. Since the start of the pandemic, they've barely been able to leave the house.
“It’s just this relief that even though she can't get vaccinated yet, there’s one extra layer of protection around her,” Wilensky said.
Wilensky said she originally couldn’t get an appointment when she tried to go through the Mecklenburg County Health Department.
When WCNC Charlotte called the Atrium appointment line, the person on the other end confirmed that anyone caring for a child who is immunocompromised can schedule an appointment through the health system.
A representative for NCDHHS told WCNC Charlotte unpaid home caregivers do fall under group 1 of vaccine prioritization.
“It’s a godsend for those of us who have been living like this for a lot of stress for this long,” Wilensky said.