PNC Arena to Host Third Wake County Mass Vaccination Site Thanks to Public-Private Partnership

2,000+ drive-thru appointments to be offered next week

With two mass vaccination sites already operating six days a week, Wake County Public Health is collaborating with hospital partners to launch a third mass vaccination site starting Feb. 11. PNC Arena, the home of the Carolina Hurricanes and NC State University Men’s Basketball, agreed to turn its 8,000-space parking lot into an appointment only drive-thru vaccine clinic.

The site will begin with two days of vaccinations next week, with the goal of inviting more than 2,100 health care workers and those 65 and older from the county’s growing COVID-19 vaccine waitlist. That list has received more than 94,000 requests since mid-January. In coming weeks, as state vaccine allotments increase, the 80-acre site, governed by Centennial Authority, has the capacity to scale up quickly to allow multiple lanes of vaccination.

Wake County Public Health, PNC Arena, WakeMed Health & Hospitals, UNC REX Healthcare and Duke Raleigh Hospital will work together to administer vaccinations, assist with logistics and provide medical support to create this efficient and safe appointment-only drive-thru site, with support from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

“The state delivered some encouraging news to us last night—that Wake County Public Health was going to receive nearly 3,000 more doses than we originally expected and we couldn’t be more thankful,” said Wake County Board of Commissioners Chair Matt Calabria. “Thanks in part to the incredible coordination that is already underway among our community partners, we stand ready to take on these additional doses and deliver them safely and efficiently. This means more vaccinations and more lives saved.”

PNC Arena will be the county’s first appointment only drive-up vaccination site. Vaccinations at this site will happen Thursday, Feb. 11, followed by another round of appointments on Saturday, Feb. 13. The site will continue operating in future weeks as vaccine allocations and partnerships allow.

“PNC Arena is a community asset,” said Centennial Authority Chairman Thomas McCormick. “As owners of PNC Arena, we are happy to work with our partners, Carolina Hurricanes and NC State University, to support the needs of our community when called upon.”

“We are proud to be a part of this community and recognize the heartbreaking impact this pandemic has had for so many of its citizens,” said Don Waddell, president of the Carolina Hurricanes and PNC Arena. “PNC Arena has ample space to serve as a mass-vaccination venue, and we want to do everything we can to help Wake County in its fight against COVID-19.”

Wake County Public Health expects to send out invitations for waitlist members to sign up for appointment slots later Friday evening. Appointments are required to receive a vaccination, and vaccinations will not be available without confirmation of a spot. Wake County leaders want to reiterate that this appointment-ONLY process is deliberately aimed at vaccinating those at highest risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19.

Health care workers and those 65 and older (Group 1 and Group 2will be notified by email, text and phone calls Friday. If they receive a notification by email or text, it will include TWO links:

    • The first link is to sign up for the State of North Carolina’s COVID Vaccine Management System or CVMS. Filling out this form completely will let them move into the fast lane at the vaccine site.
    • The second link is to make an appointment to receive the vaccine. Printing out appointment information or taking a screenshot on a smartphone will speed up the check-in process at the site.
       

Just like Wake County Public Health has worked to ensure smooth, quick and efficient drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites, the logistics team worked with the same customer service goals in mind for this new vaccine site.

After receiving their vaccination at PNC Arena, each vehicle will proceed to a monitoring area where medical staff can assist in the event of any vaccine reactions during an observation period. Those receiving their initial dose of vaccine at PNC Arena should be able to schedule their second dose appointment while on site.

Walk-ups with appointments are welcome. Public transportation is available via GoRaleigh.

  • Take Edwards Mill Bus 26 to the stop at Edwards Mill Road at Trinity Road Northbound; or
  • Take Blue Ridge Bus 27 to the stop at Blue Ridge Road at Westchase Boulevard Southbound.
     

The county will run a shuttle from that stop to the vaccination site and return people to the bus stop following vaccination and observation. These shuttles will run continuously.

More than 100 personnel will participate in next week’s drive-thru clinics – including medical teams committed by UNC REX Healthcare, Capital Regional Advisory Committee (CapRAC) and Wake County Government. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is the best way for people to protect themselves, their families and their community. As larger portions of the population are vaccinated, the whole community becomes better protected.

Thanks to the news late Thursday from NCDHHS that Wake County Public Health will receive an allotment of 6,650 total vaccine doses next week, PNC Arena won’t be the only location offering vaccinations. In addition to the more than 2,000 appointments available at the new appointment only drive-thru site next week:

  • 3,500 appointments will be made at the county’s two indoor locations (Wake County Public Health Center and the Wake County Commons Building).
  • 200 vaccines will be administered by Wake County strike teams dispatched to long-term residents and staff.
  • 800 vaccines will be delivered to historically marginalized populations by mobile strike teams heading out into the community.
     

Those who need assistance with registration or scheduling after they are notified of eligibility for an appointment, can call the Wake County Public Health Vaccine Hotline 919-250-1515. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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