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WCU COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Opens To WNC Community, Group 3

Caitlin Penna/Western Carolina University
Essential workers in higher education like Moxie Brown, who works Environmental Technician II in Facilities Management at WCU, are now eligible for the vaccine.

As more people get vaccinated in North Carolina, more places are opening to administer the shots.  BPR looks at Western Carolina University’s on-campus clinic.

The clinic, located at the school’s Health & Human Services building, opened to the public this week. This is after administering over 600 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in February to help clear Jackson County Department of Public Health’s waiting list.

“Our website and call center went live yesterday around 2 p.m.”  

That’s Courtnee Lingerfelt, director of the clinic, on Tuesday.  The clinic receives vaccines from the state, which distributes based on population, need and equity.

“In Western North Carolina, we have got a very high prevalence of rural people who might not have the same access to healthcare as Charlotte, Raleigh or some of these other places,” said Lingerfelt. “So we are qualified, highly qualified to be able to provide care to those vaccinations.”

Lingerfelt explains that the clinic is for the whole region, not just the university or Jackson County.

“We’re committed to be a regional hub for vaaccinations. We’re available to anyone who needs a vaccine. In accordance with the NCDHHS guidelines of course,” said Lingerfelt.

As a physician’s assistant and essential frontline worker, Linderfelt was recently vaccinated.

Maybe the next day, my arm was a little sore but that lasted for one day,” said Lingerfelt. She’s getting her second shot soon.  

Governor Roy Cooper announced starting Wednesday those eligible under Phase 3 can sign up for appointments.  That includes health care providers, higher education essential workers and public health workers.  Here's a WCU profile on some of the university's essential workers. 

Group 4 can start signing up March 24th. Here's a tool to find your vaccination group. 

To schedule an appointment though Western Carolina’s clinic, visit the school's clinic website.

Lilly Knoepp serves as BPR’s first fulltime reporter covering Western North Carolina. She is a native of Franklin, NC who returns to WNC after serving as the assistant editor of Women@Forbes and digital producer of the Forbes podcast network. She holds a master’s degree in international journalism from the City University of New York and earned a double major from UNC-Chapel Hill in religious studies and political science.
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