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Talk To Us: COVID Questions

Western Carolina University’s vaccine clinic is now serving the larger Western North Carolina region";

BPR is answering listener queries about the Coronavirus in a new segment –Talk to Us: COVID Questions.  BPR’s Helen Chickering brings us this week’s answer.   This week's question comes from Bob Evans of Buncombe County.

"With  the upcoming release of NC phase-4 COVID vaccinations, the conditions allowed under phase four have been posted.  However, it is not clear,  what if any documentation might be required to prove that a person is permitted to be vaccinated as part of phase four, any insights will be appreciated. Thank you."

Good question. When it comes to age or proof of profession, North Carolina has been using the honor system, so no proof needed. To find out if that's the case for underlying medical conditions, we checked with experts at Mountain Area Health and Education Center, (MAHEC).  

“North Carolina is not requiring any documentation proving that an individual has a condition, “ says MAHEC Family Medicine Medical Director, Dr. Lisa Reed. “They're avoiding barriers that may keep eligible people from accessing the vaccine while trusting that others will wait for their spot.”

“We also are getting a lot of questions about if people with certain underlying medical conditions should talk to their doctor beforehand,” says Dr. Rebecca Putnam, Medical Director of the Acute Care Clinic at MAHEC.  “The only contraindication and reason people should not get this vaccine is if they're allergic to this vaccine or one of its components, we know that some people who have immunocompromising conditions or are taking certain medications might have a lower efficacy of the vaccine, but they also are more likely to get severe COVID,” says Putnam. “So, I would go ahead and recommend that all patients, especially those with underlying health conditions consider getting the COVID vaccine. “

Do you have a COVID question you'd like answered? Record a voice memo and send it to voices@bpr.org or use the talk to us feature on the free BPR mobile app. I'm Helen Chickering BPR news.

Helen Chickering is a host and reporter on Blue Ridge Public Radio. She joined the station in November 2014.