Duke Health now meeting people where they are in North Carolina to provide COVID-19 vaccinations


DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — It remains to be seen if President Joe Biden’s visit to the Triangle this past week will boost vaccination numbers in the region.

According to state data, the number of North Carolina adults who are at least partially vaccinated remains at 55 percent; 52 percent are fully vaccinated.

Now, Duke Health has a launched a new initiative aimed at bringing the vaccine to people in need.

“So, what we found is a lot of folks are very interested in getting vaccinated but just can’t get to these sites where we are having these pop-up clinics. You can’t forget about those folks,” said Karina Shearin.

Shearin is responsible for supporting emergency planning and coordinated response efforts centered around COVID-19 with Duke Health.

She said the Duke Health team and its partners put their heads together and decided to go out and bring the vaccine to people who are homeless, on the brink of homelessness, or those who are homebound.

“We are started out going to some of the homeless shelters that we have in Durham County. One of the first ones we went to was the rescue mission. We were able to vaccinate 200 individuals on our first shot there,” Shearin said.

More recently, the team went to Carolina Duke Inn in Durham. It is an extended stay that houses people who are without a home.

“On Wednesday, they were here to vaccinate me. They came with a doctor, the paramedics (also) just in case,” Dee Baginski said.

Baginski was one of the people staying at the Carolina Duke Inn who was vaccinated.

“You don’t know who you are going to be around. Whether they are vaccinated or not. It’s important especially for an at-risk person,” she said.

“I feel great, and I feel like everyone should be vaccinated,” said Baginski.

On that day, the Duke Health team was able to vaccinate not just Baginski, but others there.

“We actually prepare to provide more vaccine. So, were prepared for that,” Shearin said.

The team also provides education about the vaccine when they are out at a location. If you are interested in them coming to you, you can call 919-613-2439 to schedule an appointment.

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