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NC incarcerated and homeless seniors are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine

A breakdown of that number includes one county inmate and a handful of homeless seniors who live in shelters in Mecklenburg County.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — People age 75 and older are eligible for the vaccine under North Carolina’s Phase 1B. Eligibility depends on one factor, age, a person’s medical condition or living situation doesn’t matter.

That means seniors living in congregate settings like the Mecklenburg County jail or shelters qualify for the vaccine too.

Dr. Raynard Washington, the county’s deputy health director discusses how many incarcerated and homeless seniors are eligible for the shot.

“We have been in contact with both the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office and all of our shelters here in Mecklenburg county to do an assessment, said Dr. Washington.  “Right now we believe that number of individuals are fewer than ten.”

A break down of that number includes one county inmate and a handful of homeless seniors who live in shelters.

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Right now there is no record of the inmate or homeless residents scheduling an appointment for the vaccine but when and if they do, Washington says the county has plans in place to make sure they’re not left out.

“It’s much more likely that we will take the vaccine to that inmate,” said Dr. Washington.

Meanwhile, homeless seniors will be encouraged to come to the facility where the vaccine is being administered. Dr. Washington acknowledges that may present challenges for some.

“We’ll provide transportation if needed and help with their appointment-making process.”

Those who work in North Carolina jails or shelters are also scheduled to get their vaccine under Phase 1B—they fall into groups two and three.

Due to the number of eligible people in this group, group 1—it could take weeks before the county is able to move into the next phases especially due to the number of doses the county is receiving.

The county received closed to 3,000 doses Monday and has administered more than half of them within two days.

At some point this week, the county is expecting another 3,000 doses.

If you are 75 years old and older, you can schedule an appointment to get a COVID-19 vaccine through the Mecklenburg County Health Department by calling at 980-314-9400. Press option 3. If you do not get an immediate response, someone from the county should return your call within 24-48 hours.

You can also book an appointment online, CLICK HERE. An appointment is required to receive the vaccine.

RELATED: Gaston County begins vaccinating people 75 and older

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