‘It gives me hope.’ Number of COVID vaccinations slowly begin to increase in Charlotte as Delta variant persists


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Novant Health reports the number of local vaccinations are slowly beginning to increase again.

At their East Mecklenburg Clinic on E. Independence Blvd., the number of vaccinations from the first non-holiday week in July to the first week in August increased nearly 170%, from 192 to 516 shots per week.

“It gives me hope, but at the same time concern as well, because I wish those numbers were higher,” said Novant Health employee Phillip Melton.

Melton believes there are several reasons for the increase in vaccinations. First, kids over the age of 12 are coming in to get vaccinated before school starts. Second, as the Delta variant persists, vaccine hesitancy is slowly starting to dwindle. Third, some employers, including Novant Health, are requiring their employees to get vaccinated.

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“I’m a healthcare worker, so I’m getting it for my patients. I’m getting it more so now because I wanted to wait a little bit. It does make me a little bit nervous, but ultimately it’s for the better good,” said Novant Health employee Lindsay Shelton, who received her Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the East Mecklenburg clinic on Tuesday.

“I already had COVID, so when I got it, I had the antibodies for a long time. But there are a lot of restrictions for people who don’t have the vaccine right now, so I decided I’d go ahead and get it,” said Logan Spilde, who got the vaccine Tuesday before he left for college.

At their peak around April and May, Melton reports the clinic gave up to 2,800 shots every day. Over the summer, that number decreased dramatically.

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“I think some of it was misinformation. Unfortunately, I think patients, because they were misinformed, became afraid,” he said.

At this point, Novant Health clinics are accepting walk-ins. Melton reports the number of walk-ins is also starting to increase.

“Anyone who walks in that door wanting a vaccine, we’re going to give them a vaccine,” he said.

The East Mecklenburg vaccine clinic is scheduled to close on September 16. Novant Health says they will evaluate their decision as the date approaches, but in the meantime, they encourage anyone who is on the fence about getting the vaccine to get one as soon as possible to ensure they are able to receive both doses before the clinic closes.

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