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Winston-Salem Fairgrounds transforms into mass COVID-19 vaccination and testing site

The goal was to vaccinate 1,100 people on Sunday. All appointments were completely booked, and both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine were administered.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Winston-Salem Fairgrounds has transformed into a mass COVID-19 vaccination and testing site, as efforts continue in North Carolina to slow the pandemic and immunize more people.

Sunday was the opening day of the mass vaccination site and all appointments were booked full. It was organized by the Forsyth County Department of Public Health.

The vaccinations are taking place inside the Education Building on the fairgrounds site, and the goal was to vaccinate 1,100 people on Sunday, according to a spokesperson. The vaccinations are by online appointment only.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine were administered on opening day. The ultra-cold freezer required to store the vaccine was on-site, a spokesperson said.

RELATED: Where to receive your coronavirus vaccine: County-by-county list for the Piedmont Triad

Those vaccinated on Sunday include people in vaccination plan's phase 1 and 2, which includes healthcare workers, long-term care staff and residents, and adults age 65 and older.

The fairgrounds operation is run by 90 staff members, some of who helped direct traffic as the parking lot filled up on Sunday with people arriving to get their shot.

The mass vaccination site at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds will be set up until at least June, according to a spokesperson.

You can register for a vaccine appointment on the Forsyth County Department of Public Health's website, but as of Sunday, all appointments are full. No walk-ups are accepted.

"All current appointments have been filled, but some slots may open again if users cancel or are found to be unqualified when staff checks their information," a message on the vaccine registration site reads.

There are two other mass vaccination sites in the triad. 

Cone Health and the Guilford County Public Health Department began vaccinating people ages 65 and older at the Greensboro Coliseum on Tuesday, Jan. 19.

The rollout has already faced major barriers. Cone Health announced Friday it was forced to reschedule vaccines for more than 10,000 North Carolinians after the state unexpectedly said it will not supply first-dose vaccines next week.

Guilford County residents can register for a vaccine through the health department at healthyguilford.com. You can also call 336-641-7944 and select Option 2. If you live outside Guilford County and want to register via Cone Health, you can go to conehealth.com/vaccine or call 336-890-1188. 

Novant Health plans to open a mass vaccination site at the old Sears store at Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem starting Monday, Jan. 25 for adults ages 65 and older. 

According to the latest data from NCDHHS, 573,130 coronavirus vaccine doses have been administered so far in North Carolina. Of those, 76,239 people have completed both doses required for full coverage.