The Craven County Health Department has developed a webpage to address frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, clinics, and availability.
The content of that page, as of Jan. 22, 2021, is the following:
How do I make an appointment?
CarolinaEast Health System and Coastal Carolina Health Care (CCHC) will call their existing patients that are 65 years of age and older to schedule an appointment.
Craven County Health Department has an online registration system. The link can be found at www.cravencountync.gov on the vaccine information page. When scheduling is open, you will click the registration link, work through a series of questions to verify eligibility, and then submit the vaccine form online. Once you have submitted the form a new page will open that will allow you to schedule through Sign-Up Genius. You will be able to view and then select from the available appointment slots. After selecting an appointment date and time you will need to submit at the bottom of the page. A new page will then open and you will need to enter your name, email, phone number, date of birth, and then submit. After all of this is complete, an appointment confirmation should show up on your screen. Registering online does require a unique email for everyone. This system will not allow an email to be used more than once. Individuals that do not have an email address or need assistance in scheduling should call our COVID-19 Vaccine call center at 252-636-6693.
Can I put my name on a waiting list to be called when a vaccine appointment is available?
The priority population for the vaccine is 65 years of age and older. There are over 20,000 in that population living in Craven County. For that reason, a waiting list is not very practical for the individual or the staff to call them back. The best thing to do is check the health department webpage or dial our call center at 252-636-6693. Again, if you are a patient of Carolina East or CCHC they will call you to schedule your COVID-19 vaccine appointment.
Why is the health department scheduling from week to week?
We are notified on Thursday evening of the number of doses we will receive the following week. The doses normally arrive the following Tuesday or Wednesday mid-day. The number of doses we have received has varied from week to week, ranging between 100-975 doses. We only schedule appointments for doses that we have on hand, so if you have an appointment that means you have a dose waiting for you.
We do have a small number of cancellations. When cancellations come through, they are immediately filled by call center staff assisting individuals that do not have access to the internet. Again, we are not keeping a waiting list. Appointments go very quickly, 450 appointments were made online in one hour on Tuesday, January 20, 2021.
It is very important that people show up for their appointments, we cannot afford to waste these doses once we have prepared them. If you do need to cancel your appointment, please contact the COVID-19 Vaccine call center at 252-636-6693.
Where do I go to get my shot?
The health department COVID-19 vaccine clinic is being held at Craven County’s New Bern Riverfront Convention Center in downtown New Bern located at 203 South Front Street. Carolina East and CCHC will instruct their patients on which location to report to when they contact you by phone.
What if I have difficulty getting out of my car?
We have staff in the parking lot and if an individual has difficulty getting out of their car, we can come to them. We also have wheelchairs available and the Convention Center is handicap accessible.
How long will it take?
Since we have scheduled appointments and we are pre-registering there are no long lines. Your visit will be very quick. The longest portion of the visit is the 15-minute wait after you receive your vaccine to make sure there are no adverse reactions. Fortunately, we have not seen any adverse reactions for either of the vaccines.
How much does it cost?
It is free.
Do you think we will get more vaccine in the future?
Yes, the way to get more vaccine is to prove that you are giving it by putting shots in arms and by entering the information into the CVMS (COVID Vaccine Management System). By entering our doses quickly into CVMS we show the federal government that we are dispensing our vaccines in a timely fashion (within 7 days of receipt). This should enable us to receive more vaccine.
How will I get my second dose?
We will schedule your follow up appointment for the second dose during your 15-minute wait time for the first dose. If you receive the Pfizer vaccine you will be scheduled three weeks later if you receive the Moderna vaccine you will be scheduled four weeks later. For every first dose we give there is a second dose associated with it and sent to us automatically from our state contacts.
Can I get the vaccine if I have already had COVID-19?
Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that reinfection with COVID-19 is possible, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection. If you were treated for COVID-19 symptoms with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
Experts do not yet know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called “natural immunity,” varies from person to person. It is rare for someone who has had COVID-19 to get infected again. It also is uncommon for people who do get COVID-19 again to get it within 90 days of when they recovered from their first infection. We will not know how long immunity produced by vaccination lasts until we have more data on how well the vaccines work.
Can I get the vaccine if I am currently positive for COVID-19?
You will need to be symptom free for at least 24 hours and completed your isolation for 10 days prior to receiving the vaccine.
Can I get the vaccine if I have recently had another vaccine like the flu shot?
There is limited data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines administered with other vaccines. The vaccine should be administered alone, with a minimum interval of 14 days before or after administration with any other vaccine.