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​COVID-19 Vaccine

Elderly Caucasian man receiving vaccine.

COVID-19 Vaccination

Updated January 19, 2021

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued emergency use authorizations (EUA) for two vaccines for the prevention of COVID-19. The vaccines were developed by Pfizer-BioNTech (ages 16 and older) and Moderna (ages 18 and older). Other vaccines are in large-scale clinical trials to ensure they are safe and effective.

Each vaccine requires two shots. The interval between doses is 21 days for Pfizer-BioNTech and 28 days for Moderna.

FACTS About COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC

When and where can I receive my COVID-19 vaccination?

Demand for vaccinations is high and supply is limited, with availability increasing through 2021.

Mecklenburg County Public Health is following North Carolina's Vaccine Distribution Plan and vaccinating residents by appointment. Initial appointments have filled quickly. We will open additional appointments for the first three weeks of February for Groups 1 and 2 below based on anticipated vaccine supply.

February appointments will be available for scheduling beginning Thursday, January 21 at 8:30 a.m. 

Group 1

- Healthcare workers with in-person patient contact.
- Long-term care staff and residentspeople in skilled nursing facilities, adult care homes, continuing care retirement communities.

If you can attest that you or your staff fit in the Group 1 prioritization categories and are not-affiliated with a hospital, please email with specific details, click here to schedule an appointment online, or call 980-314-9400 Option 3 to schedule an appointment for your first dose with Mecklenburg County Public Health. Due to the limited vaccine supply, appointments may not be available. Please check back for updates.

Group 2

- Older adultspeople ages 65 and older, regardless of health status or living situation.

We will open additional appointments for the first three weeks of February for Groups 1 and 2 based on anticipated vaccine supply. February appointments will be available for scheduling beginning Thursday, January 21 at 8:30 a.m. 

Eligible individuals can click here to schedule an appointment online or call 980-314-9400 Option 3 to schedule an appointment for your first dose. Click here for instructions on creating an account and scheduling an appointment online. Due to the limited vaccine supply, appointments may not be available. Please check back for updates.

No walk-ins are accepted. Instructions for your second dose will be provided at your appointment for your first dose.

Email or call 980-314-9400 Option 3 with questions. 

Group 3: Frontline essential workers.

Group 4: Adults at high risk for exposure and increase risk of severe illness.

Group 5: Anyone who wants a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination.

Appointments are not yet available for Groups 3, 4, or 5. If you have questions regarding eligibility, check North Carolina's Vaccine Distribution Plan. Mecklenburg County is committed to an equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccine to individuals who meet the criteria under the distribution plan.

Where do I go for my vaccination appointment?

Public Health is administering vaccinations by appointment only at Bojangles Coliseum, 2700 East Independence Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28205 | Map

Enter from Briar Creek Road (exit 244 off East Independence Blvd). Park in sections 10-15 for nearest access.

What might delay my appointment?

You will need to delay your vaccine if any of the following apply on the day of your appointment:

  • You have any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • You have recently tested positive for COVID-19 and have not been cleared from isolation.
  • You have recently had close contact with someone with COVID-19 and have not completed your quarantine period.
  • You have received another vaccine within the past 14 days.
  • You have received passive antibody treatment for COVID-19 within the last 90 days.

When and where do I receive my second dose?

Second dose appointments are available for individuals who received their first dose from Mecklenburg County Public Health. We are partnering with StarMed Healthcare to provide second doses of the COVID vaccine ONLY to individuals who received their first dose from MCPH. If you have already scheduled your second dose through Public Health, you do not need to schedule an appointment through StarMed.

To make an appointment for your second dose, click here for StarMed Healthcare's appointment page.

Second dose appointments are located at Bojangles Coliseum, 2700 East Independence Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28205 | Map

Here is information and instructions on scheduling a second dose appointment inEnglish orSpanish.

We're Here to Answer Your Questions

Public Health Hotline: 980-314-9400

Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

This hotline is for general questions regarding COVID-19 and the Flu.
If you have a medical emergency, call 911.

What if I am a patient of Atrium Health or Novant Health?

Atrium Health:

  • Schedule your vaccination online through MyAtriumHealth. This is the easiest way to book your appointments.
  • Or call 704-468-8888, select Option 1, then Option 2.

Novant Health:

  • You will receive a notification through your MyChart account, prompting you to schedule an appointment. Patients who do not have MyChart are encouraged to sign at
  • If you do not have access to MyChart or have not received communications, you can call 855-648-2248 for scheduling assistance.

Can I stop wearing a mask and social distancing if I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

No, do not stop wearing a mask and social distancing.

While we learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others.    


Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following the CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19.


Why are vaccines important?

Vaccines help protect us, our children, and our communities against preventable diseases. They are tested to ensure safety and prevent up to 3 million deaths worldwide every year. Since vaccines were introduced, diseases like smallpox, polio and tetanus that used to kill or disable millions of people are either gone or seen very rarely. Other diseases like measles and diphtheria have been reduced by up to 99.9% since their vaccines were introduced.

Why vaccinate? | Department of Health and Human Services

How are recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine prioritized?

The supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine are limited and prioritized for specific groups at highest risk, including healthcare workers, people in long-term care facilities, and older adults. As supplies increase, all adults should be able to get vaccinated later in 2021. A COVID-19 vaccine may not be available for young children until more studies are completed.

N.C. Vaccination Distribution PlanNC Vaccine Infographic.jpg

Learn more about North Carolina’s plan for vaccine prioritization and distribution at NC DHHS COVID-19: Vaccines or view this Infographic of Vaccine Phases.

What are the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

  • The vaccine will help protect you from getting COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications, and there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you.
  • If you get sick, you could spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you.
  • Getting the vaccine, in addition to wearing a mask, social distancing, and washing hands, is an important tool to stop the pandemic.

How do I know the vaccine is safe?

NC Vaccine Approval Infographic. Phase 1 and 2: 10s-100s of healthy volunteers. Are there any side effects? How many volunteers experience side effects? What is the best vaccine dose to create an immune response with the fewest tolerable side effects? Phase 2 and 3: More than 30,000 of volunteers. Does the vaccine prevent COVID-19 infection? What are the most common side effects? Do the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks? APPROVAL and DISTRIBUTION: FDA reviews the safety and efficacy data to determine if benefits are greater than risks. An independent, non-FDA scientific committee reviews findings. Vaccine is authorized and recommended for use (may only be for certain populations). Vaccine is labeled for use, benefits, side effects. Manufacturing Preparation: Manufacturing development scaling up, quality-control testing. Large-Scale Manufacturing: Making millions of vaccine doses for nationwide distribution, continued quality-control testing of vaccine batches and manufacturing facilities, FDA ad CDC continually monitor vaccinated patients. Availability: Limited availability in the beginning. More widely available over time.

Scientists had a head start. Although the vaccines were developed quickly, they were built upon years of work in developing vaccines for similar viruses.

Testing was thorough and successful. More than 70,000 people participated in clinical trials for two vaccines to see if they are safe and effective. To date, the vaccines are nearly 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 with no safety concerns.

There are no safety concerns for senior citizens. Clinical trials ensured the vaccines meet safety standards and protect adults of different races, ethnicities, and ages, including adults over the age of 65, who mounted a strong immune response.

There is no COVID-19 virus in the vaccine. The vaccine imitates the infection so that our bodies think a germ like the virus is attacking. This creates the antibody defenses we need to fight off COVID-19 if and when the real germ attacks.

Ensuring vaccine safety in the United States: FDA | CDC

If I have allergies, can I still get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Most people with allergies can still get the COVID vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued guidelines that people who have ever had a severe allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis, to any ingredient in a COVID-19 vaccine should not get it, and to consult their doctor about getting the vaccine.

Individuals with severe allergic reaction (e.g. anaphylaxis) to another vaccine or injectable medication should consult with their medical provider; this is not an absolute contraindication to get the vaccine. 

COVID-19 Vaccines and Severe Allergic Reactions | CDC

What is the cost of the vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccine will be available to everyone at no cost to the person receiving the vaccine, no matter whether you have health insurance.

Trusted Sources on Vaccine Information | Immunization Action Coalition
Misconceptions about Vaccines | College of Physicians in Philadelphia
Top 20 Questions on Vaccination | College of Physicians in Philadelphia
Facts About COVID-19 Vaccination | CDC
8 Things to Know about Vaccine Planning for COVID-19 | CDC
What is an EUA? (Video) | FDA
Understanding how COVID-19 Vaccines Work | CDC
Herd Immunity and What you Need to Know | Mayo Clinic
COVID-19 Vaccination 101 (PPT) | N.C. Department Of Health and Human Services

close alertCounty services are operating at a limited capacity. Questions about COVID-19? Call Public Health Hotline: 980-314-9400