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'Every vaccine we give out is going to count' | Mobile vaccine unit arrives in Guilford County

Guilford County Health Director Dr. Iulia Vann said the mobile unit arrived Friday but still needs to go through completed paperwork before getting on the road.

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Guilford County's first mobile vaccination unit has made it to the health department after experiencing some shipping delays.

The unit will help the county get out into different parts of the community and bring vaccines to those who need them. 

Guilford County Health Director Dr. Iulia Vann said the department is working through scheduling right now and encourages community organizations that are interested in hosting a clinic to reach out to the health department. 

Dr. Vann said so far several locations are under discussion but added they're not ready to release specific locations yet while they wait for paperwork like license, registration, and insurance for the vehicle to be finalized. 

Dr. Vann said the county is looking at several data points not only from the CDC but within the county and DHHS to determine where the unit will be most effective. 

 Get a free ticket to the NC Zoo by getting a COVID-19 vaccine

"We're also prioritizing areas with low vaccination rates and high cases," said Dr. Vann.

The mobile unit is about 183 sq ft. in size. The unit has many features, including a fully operational exam room, registration and check-in area, medical-grade refrigerator, lab work station, restroom, generator, exam room bed, wheelchair lift, and privacy door between work areas. 

The health department will be focusing on administering COVID-19 vaccines, but Dr. Vann said they plan to continue using the unit for public health needs after that.

"The moving of the needle in the vaccination process is going to be a little bit slower in this process but every vaccine that we give out is going to count and we are excited for every dose that we give," said Dr. Vann.

Dr. Vann said the unit's focus is on accessibility. The unit will go back to the same location 21 or 28 days later depending on the vaccine, so people are able to get their second shot. 

Dr. Vann said in an effort to eliminate any and all barriers, the vaccine unit will have at least two vaccines to choose from at all times so the community can choose the vaccine that’s best available for them.

RELATED: Guilford County Health continues community-based vaccine approach as it waits for mobile unit to come in