Durham woman partners with Walgreens to provide COVID-19 and flu vaccines for her neighborhood

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Miss Marcella Thompson is on another mission to take care of her neighbors in East Durham.

Durham's Miss Marcella becomes first in the country to get COVID-19 vaccine from Walgreens

Thompson is partnering with her neighborhood Walgreens store for a COVID-19 and flu shot vaccine clinic.

"We've got to work together. All of us have to do our part," said Thompson. "We have to make sure we're protected."

Meet the Durham woman who feeds more than 100 families every day during the COVID-19 pandemic

This 61-year-old grandmother feeds 160 families a week through her nonprofit, the Mustard Seed Project.

Back in February, she garnered national attention appearing live on Good Morning America -- the first person in the country to get the COVID-19 vaccine at Walgreens.

She says it was an intentional move to get more people of color to trust the vaccine.

Now, with hospitals overwhelmed with COVID patients who are not vaccinated, and the looming threat of an active flu season, Thompson is hoping and praying she can influence people to get both shots.

"The faith of a mustard seed -- speak to the mountain and the mountain must move. This COVID variant that we have now. It is a huge variant. And we all have to speak to it," said Thompson.

But is it safe to take both at the same time?

"Absolutely it's ok. We can take both those shots together and there should be no problem at all," said Dr. David Wohl, who studies infectious diseases at UNC.

He says last flu season was milder because people wore masks and social distanced.

According to Dr. Wohl, it's a myth that the flu vaccine gives you the flu.

He says both shots can give you brief cold-like symptoms, which means it's working.

"We tell people even with the COVID-19 vaccine, if you start to get a little achy, a little tired the day after getting the shot, that is almost certain just a reaction to the vaccine. But if it's two or three days later that you are feeling under the weather -- you're coughing, shortness of breath, if you have a fever, then we are suspicious of something else going on. And the same thing if you get the flu shot," said Dr. Wohl.

Thompson's vaccine clinic is Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. at the Walgreens store located at 710 Fayetteville Street in Durham.
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