Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) held its first COVID-19 vaccine clinic on Monday, January 11 for their patients who qualify according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) four-phase rollout plan. North Carolina is currently in phase 1b, group 1, which includes all adults 75 years or older.
ARHS receives periodic allotments of vaccines from the state during each phase, and will focus efforts on established patients of Appalachian Regional Medical Associates (ARMA) as they receive supplies. Those who are eligible, but are not established ARMA patients can attend vaccination clinics through Appalachian District Health Department (AppHealthCare) or Toe River (Avery County) Health Department.
Phase 1b includes the following groups:
- Group 1: Anyone 75 years or older, regardless of health status or living situation
- Group 2: Health care workers and frontline essential workers 50 years or older
- Group 3: Health care workers and frontline essential workers of any age
The CDC defines frontline essential workers as first responders (e.g., firefighters and police officers), corrections officers, food and agricultural workers, U.S. Postal Service workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, and those who work in the education sector (teachers and support staff members) as well as child care workers.
ARHS staff members and providers are volunteering to participate in vaccination efforts. Steven Anderson, MD, orthopedic surgeon at AppOrtho, vaccinated Katie Lineback, whose husband had undergone knee surgery with him previously. She was delighted to see a familiar face.
ARHS is working to contact ARMA patients by text or email when they are eligible for vaccine clinics. Established patients should visit https://apprhs.org/vaccine-registration/ to register.
Non-ARHS patients should sign up through local health department interest forms: