NC health officials hopeful pharmacies, local providers will help with vaccine hesitancy

SHELBY, N.C. — Some people are still thinking about whether they should get the COVID-19 vaccine and North Carolina health officials hope their doctors and pharmacists can convince them to get a dose.

Pharmacist Jeff Nunnery loves serving the Shelby community.

“Shelby is a good place. This drug store is a community pharmacy and it serves the community right here very nicely,” he said.

Nunnery works at Shelby Drug Store on East Grover Street -- one of several local pharmacies offering COVID-19 vaccines.

“It was really an honor to get that vaccine and be part of this vaccination program,” he said.

On Thursday, the pharmacy is holding a Moderna clinic. You don’t have to leave your car to get a shot and you will be in and out in 20 minutes.

The state is hoping that ease and convenience combined with the personal relationship of providers and their customers will convince skeptical patients to get a shot in their arm.

“We’ve been doing that,” Nunnery said. “There are some people who just don’t want to do this thing and so we are encouraging and pushing them a little bit so hopefully they will be part of the vaccination program.”

It’s not just pharmacies working to decrease vaccine hesitancy. Last week, Channel 9′s Joe Bruno was with Gov. Roy Cooper at Gaston Medical Partners -- an independent practice vaccinating its patients.

In a press conference Tuesday, the governor said the partnerships are what the state is looking for to ensure every North Carolinian that wants the shot can get it.

“If we get more and more providers involved with this, this will help with the hesitancy because people trust their physicians and we think this is going to be an important part of getting more people vaccinated,” Cooper said.

Shelby Drug Store said it is glad to play a small role in this effort.

“Our expectations have been exceeded. It has been fun, it has been a good experience,” Nunnery said.

Shelby Drug still has appointments available. Register by calling 704-487-2939. If no one answers, leave a message saying you want an appointment or call Thursday starting at 8:30 a.m.