Slow turn out on day one in Charlotte for vaccine booster availability

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CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – At the Mecklenburg County Health Department on Billingsley Road, it was so quiet Monday, you could hear a pin drop; or more realistically, the birds chirping in a near-empty parking lot.

“I’m just hoping people will come out and get it,” said one many referring to the COVID booster shot.

There’s been enough hype about the booster shot, even with President Biden getting his today.

FOX 46 went to three locations in Mecklenburg County offering them. What we found were empty parking lots.

“Apparently it hasn’t been that well-advertised,” said George Galleher who just got his booster shot. “I just sent a note to all our friends to tell them to come down here because there’s nobody here.”

“It has been light,” said Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Gibbie Harris. “We weren’t sure what to expect and we have heard, anecdotally, people have been thinking about it. They haven’t made a final decision about it.”

Harris offered a reason why the number of people going to get the booster shot has been so low saying the FDA and CDC were sending out mixed messages about who’s eligible.

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“The recommendation from the CDC didn’t really get formalized until Friday so potentially it may pick up as we go through the week,” she said.

The third shot is only for those who have gotten both Pfizer shots at least six months ago since they’re the ones that got FDA approval.

It’s for people 65 and older, those who are high risk or frontline workers.

But if hardly anyone is showing up, why even bother with eligibility groups?

Harris told FOX 46, “Rather than opening up to everybody and then just being completely overwhelmed, it’s a slow start and we’ll see how it goes.”

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