Catawba County News

Public Health's COVID-19 Vaccination Team Named County Team of the Year

Public Health's COVID-19 Vaccination Team Named County Team of the Year

Published: February 17, 2022

Catawba County Public Health’s COVID-19 Vaccination Team has been named the 2021 Catawba County Team of the Year. The county’s Team of the Year awards program is judged by an independent panel of local municipal and community leaders.

The Public Health COVID-19 vaccination team, which is comprised of 112 Catawba County employees across four county departments, implemented the community’s largest coordinated COVID-19 vaccination effort in FY20/21. During that time, the team administered more than 59,000 doses of vaccine and achieved a 48% vaccination rate for Catawba County.

Some of the notable steps the team took to make vaccine delivery successful in Catawba County include the following:

  • Establishing and operating a community vaccine clinic at the Hickory Metro Convention Center, which provided needed space, easy access, plentiful parking and a climate-controlled environment;
  • Purchasing an ultra-low temperature freezer that enabled Public Health to receive vaccine for the community as soon as vaccine was available and to serve as a distribution hub for the region’s vaccine supply;
  • Development and use of a COVID-19 vaccine appointment request phone line and website to manage the high demand for vaccine appointments;
  • Implementation of a system to schedule large numbers of essential workers through their employers during phases three and four of the state’s vaccination plan;
  • Partnering with StarMed to take vaccine into the community and make vaccinations more accessible; and
  • Collaborating with community partners, including Catawba Valley Medical Center, Frye Regional Medical Center, The Chamber of Catawba County, the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation, Lenoir-Rhyne University and dozens of local nonprofits and private-sector businesses, to help schedule vaccination appointments.

“Vaccine roll-out was incredibly challenging due to high demand and limited supply,” said County Manager Mick Berry. “This team’s foresight, planning, and adaptability helped ensure that they were able to keep up with community demand and increase access to vaccinations as efficiently and effectively as possible. I commend the entire team for their tireless work to make vaccinations available in our community and ultimately help protect the health of our citizens.”

Two other teams were nominated for the 2021 Catawba County Team of the Year award. Catawba County Social Services’ Quality and Training Team was nominated for helping to cover gaps in services across the organization when needed during the pandemic, including volunteering to directly assist with community needs. The Catawba County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division was nominated for its collaborative effort with federal and state agencies to help stop the flow of narcotics into Catawba County.