CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In the race to vaccinate more people, a new clinic is opening in Charlotte that could help thousands in underserved communities get their shots.
Bojangles Coliseum is the county’s main vaccination site, and Channel 9 has seen thousands of people drive through over the past two months to get their first or second doses.
Starting Wednesday, people in east Charlotte will have another site where they can get a shot.
Novant Health secured a site for a new clinic on East Independence Boulevard in the Triangle Shopping Center. Health officials said this will serve as a permanent site with the ability to accommodate up to 3,000 appointments a day.
“We are thrilled to transition our Charlotte vaccination efforts to this new location, which has the space needed to help our teams streamline operations and get more people, in, out and vaccinated,” said John Howard, senior vice president, Novant Health, and chief operating officer, Novant Health Physician Network. “This relocation could not come at a better time as we open up to Group 3.”
The health system said the new clinic will help bring the vaccine to communities that may have struggled to get it and that often rely on public transportation.
Vaccine candidate Stephanie Lauritzen told Channel 9 that she is ready for her COVID-19 shot.
“I signed up on Novant’s website to do the pre-registration so hopefully I’ll get to go soon,” Lauritzen said.
Novant officials said they wanted to help underserved communities that often rely on public transportation. They’ve secured a site for the vaccination clinic but said finding the perfect location wasn’t easy.
“When you approach a business with the words COVID or vaccination or testing, there’s not a lot of interest in surrounding businesses having us there so we’ve had challenges with our neighbors not being thrilled with having us there,” said Nikki Nissen with Novant Health.
Currently, Novant Health has two daily vaccination clinics in the Charlotte area -- one on Freedom Drive in west Charlotte and another in Matthews.
Officials said the new site will become the system’s largest in the Charlotte area. Its largest site now can only handle about 700 appointments a day.
Neighbors like Lauritzen are grateful the hospital is reaching out to bring the vaccine to communities in need.
“I think everybody should be able to have access to it,” Lauritzen said.
Novant Health says the vaccination site in Matthews will move to the new location once it opens. Patients who currently have a first dose scheduled at the Matthews clinic will now come to the new location on the same day, at the same time.
The new clinic will be located at 6070 E. Independence Boulevard, and it will be open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Vaccines will be by appointment only.
Health officials said the clinic will be doing vaccination appointments for Groups 1, 2, and 3, but they said appointments are limited.
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