Special to Iredell Free News
RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Public Safety, including its divisions of Emergency Management and the N.C. National Guard, are actively planning and coordinating with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services to create options for how N.C. National Guard personnel may augment existing vaccination resources.
The N.C. National Guard has mobilized approximately 50 personnel this week in support of the anticipated demand requests from state partners and county health departments. The Guard will be operational this week.
Some of the planned activities include logistics planning, command and control center support, and vaccination teams that will be available to support state efforts and fellow Guard personnel.
Currently, the logistics and command and control personnel will be assigned to work with the DPS Division of Emergency Management’s Regional Coordination Centers in Kinston, Butner and Concord. The vaccination teams will be mobile with time and locations still under development by DPS and DHHS.
The N.C. Guard will be administering the COVID-19 vaccine over the next week, on a voluntary basis, to the Guardsmen supporting the state’s COVID-19 response.
From March 6, 2020, to July 31, 2020, the Guard had 940 service members on duty supporting NCDHHS and DPS COVID-19 response. Their missions were PPE distribution, COVID-19 testing, food distribution, cyber support and warehouse management and operations.
The Guard ceased COVID-19 support in late July 2020 and restarted their COVID-19 support on September 23 with about 180 personnel providing food bank and COVID-19 testing support.