NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County Health and Human Services’ Public Health reached a milestone this week: administering its 50,000th dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in our community. In total, since receiving its first shipment of vaccines on December 22, Public Health has administered 50,734 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Our team is doing incredible work,” said New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman in her State of the County address this week. “They have gone into communities, met people where they are, vaccinated hundreds of our homebound seniors, signed residents up for an appointment one-by-one over the phone, partnered with local churches and community organizations – all to ensure our vaccination efforts are equitable and reach every single person in our county.”
For the past four months, Public Health has conducted mass vaccination clinics throughout the county that require appointments. In recent weeks, walk-up clinics, requiring no appointment, have started to be offered as well so that people have greater flexibility in getting their vaccine.
Currently, more than 80,651 people in New Hanover County are partially vaccinated (34.4% of the population) and 66,633 people are fully vaccinated (28.4% of the population), according to the NCDHHS dashboard.
“The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are both in supply and available in our community,” said Health and Human Services Director Donna Fayko. “So please continue to seek out a vaccine, because they are proven to prevent serious illness and death from COVID-19. This virus is still very much here in our community; and while things may not seem as urgent, they still are. The levels of transmissions we are experiencing – over 6% positivity rate from testing – and cases per day are still too high, and this creates an elevated risk of variants forming and pro-longing the pandemic. So we have more work to do. We must continue to protect one another and get vaccinated to make sure we put the pandemic behind us.”
While side effects can occur after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, just like with any other vaccine you receive, they are typically minor and short-lived. Adverse events from the vaccine are extremely rare, and some people experience no side effects at all.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists nine common side effects of the vaccine, including pain, redness and swelling at the injection site along with tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever and nausea.
After the second vaccine dose, side effects can sometimes be more intense than with the first, according to the CDC, but they are normal signs that your body is building protection against the virus and should go away within a few days. While COVID-19 vaccines may cause side effects, they cannot and do not give you COVID-19.
“The benefits of getting a vaccine and preventing death and serious illness caused by COVID-19 far outweigh any possible short-term side effects that may be experienced,” said Fayko. “More than 213 million vaccines have been administered in the US so far, and these vaccines are undergoing the most intensive safety monitoring in our history – as we have seen recently with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. We want people to be reassured that getting a vaccine is the best thing to do for your health and the health of those you love.”
The CDC encourages people to contact their doctor if side effects do not go away after a few days.
Over the past week, 286 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in New Hanover County – for a total of 18,653 cases since the start of the pandemic; and of that total, 17,486 people have recovered, and 164 people have died – an increase of one death from the virus since last week.
To view the most recent COVID-19 case count data, vaccine information, and resources in New Hanover County, visit Health.NHCgov.com/Coronavirus, call our Coronavirus Call Center at 910-798-6800, and follow the county’s trusted social media pages: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Nextdoor.