Cape Fear Valley Health gets busy vaccinating essential Group 3 workers

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Cape Fear Valley Health is now welcoming all essential workers to schedule an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

The health system officially starts first doses for the second part of Group 3 on Wednesday and is seeing a great response, according to registered nurse Kelly Grant.

"If you have a job, you qualify to come down and get the COVID-19 vaccine," Grant said.

The vaccine clinic was held at Cape Fear Valley's Health Pavilion North for most of the day.

Quentin Gilbert, an employee for the nearby Goodyear Tire and Rubber Plant, made a stop at the clinic right after work, describing what his day-to-day job looks like, "on the floor, we can't separate. I'm on a machine, but there's a machine right by my machine, and that's just the way it is in the plant."

Gilbert, along with other colleagues, received their first dose of the vaccine on Wednesday afternoon. He said he will feel much safer at work and around his family.

"Rather deal with side effects, if there are any, and be here than not to be here," Gilbert said.

Michael Lawless, a Cumberland County Animal Services Officer, was also at the clinic to get his first dose. He told ABC11 that he feels much better knowing he'll be protecting his wife, who has a compromised immune system.

"My wife's been through quite enough over the last couple of years with her illness, and for me, for my wife to love me enough to stay with me for 25 years, you know, the least I can do is get a vaccine," Lawless said.

Though the move to vaccinate all of Group 3 is a sign of the progress being made countywide, it's also evidence that many people are still hesitant to get the vaccine.

Dr. Jennifer Green, the Health Director for the Cumberland County Department of Public Health, acknowledged the dilemma in a Monday afternoon news conference.

"We know that there are more teachers, more daycare workers that are ... more support staff, our cafeteria workers that are ... have what we call 'vaccine hesitancy," Green said.

She said she knows there are many people who are wanting to wait, but she "strongly encourages you" to reconsider.

With more than 50 percent of Cumberland County Schools' employees vaccinated, Cape Fear Valley Health is turning its attention to people like Bryon Jennings, a law-firm office manager who often interacts with people in-person. He made a stop at the clinic to get his vaccine.

"Our law firm, we mainly do criminal defense, so it's a lot of in-person court appearances, going to jails and visiting clients," Jennings said.

If you qualify under Groups 1, 2, or 3, you can visit Cape Fear Valley Health's website to schedule an appointment at one of its clinics.
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