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'It's a four-step process'| Vaccinations for those 75 and older begin in Guilford County

Today, Guilford County rolled out Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution. People 75 and older are now able to get the vaccine.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Phase 1-b officially kicked off in Guilford County Saturday.

All day, folks 75 and older walked in and out of Cone Health's Green Valley location with their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

DeAnne Brooks, Cone Health's Chief Pharmacy Officer spoke with WFMY News 2’s Itinease McMiller about what those with appointments can expect.

She said it’s a four-step process.

The first two steps are to register with the state, and put health records into the Cone Health system.

“The third step is the most exciting step which is the vaccinations," Brooks said. "Then the fourth step is being observed for at least 15 minutes after getting the vaccine."

Brooks said it took about an hour to get through all four steps.

They hope to get the process down to 30 minutes by next week.

Cone can vaccinate about 200 people per day, but appointments are booked throughout the rest of January.

And county wide, phone lines were shot with more than 12,000 callers wanting to make appointments, Friday.

The nearly 5,000 doses available to the Guilford County Health Department were filled in the first 36 hours.

The county will begin vaccinations for those with appointments Monday, Jan 11.

As the county works with the states health department to get more doses, Brooks said they're also working to give more folks a shot of hope.

"Next really is being able to increase our capacity," Brooks said. "We want to put more shots in arms as fast as we can so we're using this time right now to really learn what those processes need to be." 

Each person vaccinated with Cone Health Saturday scheduled an appointment for their second dose before leaving.

Cone will continue to vaccinate their health care workers and the general public 75 and up throughout the rest of the week.

The next group to get vaccinated are health care and essential workers over 50 years old.