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UNCA-MAHEC vax site celebrates 15K doses and counting
Sunday, 02 May 2021 14:01

From Staff Reports

In just two months since opening the doors on Feb. 19, the UNC Asheville-MAHEC COVID-19 Immunization Site has administered a total of 15,000 vaccines to community members from across Western North Carolina.

The partnership between UNCA and the Mountain Area Health Education Center includes shared expertise and a commitment to the community and region, a UNCA press release stated.

"Now it’s reaching more individuals than either organization could alone, nearly three times the combined student and employee numbers of UNC Asheville, which has a student enrollment of 3,400 and just under 1,000 employees, and adding about 10 percent to MAHEC’s reach, which includes 170,000 annual patient visits in North Carolina’s 16 westernmost counties."

The release quoted UNCA Chancellor Nancy J. Campbell as saying, “Since the beginning of the pandemic, the strong partnership between UNC Asheville and MAHEC has continued to deepen and broaden in a variety of ways that support our shared commitment to education and public health. 

"Whether we are supporting peer-to-peer health and vaccine awareness through the Student Health Ambassador program, increasing vaccine access for historically marginalized communities, or ensuring geographic equity for vaccine appointments, the unique collaboration between UNC Asheville and MAHEC is playing a crucial role in the fight against COVID-19 in Western North Carolina," Cable stated.

As of April 19, the 15,000 doses administered at UNCA is nearly 20 percent of the first and second doses administered in Buncombe County, which reports 70,489 total first and second doses administered.

The UNCA-MAHEC site reached the 15,000 dose milestone on April 20. The on-campus vaccination site, located in the Reuter Center that is traditionally home to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNCA, has been in operation 33 days, including two days of vaccination clinics for students, faculty and staff.

The clinic has received doses of all three vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

It paused administering the J&J one-dose vaccine in mid-April following CDC and FDC recommendations.Behind the scenes, the clinic relies on dedicated staff and volunteers. MAHEC coordinates all of the on-site clinical operations, while UNCA manages the vaccine site logistics, traffic, safety and volunteers.

"It’s a team effort with hundreds of volunteers, including UNCA employees and students, MAHEC faculty and staff, as well as community members," the release stated.

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