Dr. Mark Jaben

Dr. Mark Jaben

Q: When I called the Ingles pharmacy, I got a recorded message to sign up for a COVID vaccine. I was told to sign up, even if I'd already signed up at the county health department and to take whatever appointment came up first. They don't have vaccine yet.

When it arrives, will their dosage be on top of the county allocation? Will they follow distribution guidelines?

A: I don’t think we know if their allocation is in addition to what we get or not. 

They should be following distribution guidelines, but we don’t now if they will coordinate with us or whether their corporate entity will want to do it their way.

Q:  CDC still as of December 2020, gives warnings that asthmatics are at higher risk of having increased complications to COVID-19. I am 60 and have moderate to severe asthma my entire life. Will Haywood Co. Recognize this for phase 2? How do I show proof I moved here last March and have no regional doctor at this time (still do on line check ins with my doctor in another state)? How do I get an appointment? The on line form does not recognize or give an option for asthma or other health concerns like the CDC Chart for phase 2. Thank you, Carla Schmidt

A: After everyone in the over 75 age group who wants to get the vaccine has been vaccinated, we will be moving on to all those 65-74, those 16-64 with high risk underlying health issues, and essential front line workers. These are the high risk underlying health issues as defined by CDC on December 29,2020:

Cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), Down Syndrome, heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies, immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant, obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2), severe obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2), pregnancy, sickle cell disease, smoking, Type 2 diabetes mellitus

We have not yet worked out exactly how we will verify those with these conditions in the 16-64 age group.

If a person has a property address in Haywood County, they are eligible to be vaccinated in Haywood County. There are many people who work in Haywood County, but live outside the county. We encourage them to get vaccinated in their home county, but if not possible, then we would add them to our vaccine eligibility here because they do have an impact on community health here.

We would encourage you to pre-register at https://www.haywoodcountync.gov/vaccine or by calling 828-356-2019. Once pre-registered, the Health Department will contact you with an appointment time. You do not have to call back to see what is happening. How quickly this goes entirely depends on the supply of vaccine, something that is not in our control locally and depends on the state allocating the available doses provided by the federal government.

Q. We heard about a number of church-related cases in Fines Creek that readers feared could be a cluster. Do you have information on that? The Mountaineer

A. Fines Creek did not apparently get over four cases that could be connected. There are a bunch of places that are likely clusters, but there is so much prevalence in the community that many have multiple possible exposures outside the possible location, and a cluster requires that the connection be possible and no other possible exposures would account for it.

Also, some businesses apparently are telling employees not to be forthcoming. Since we are not providing clearance letters for quarantine, they shouldn’t have to share with us. Go figure.

Gaming the system so as not to be called out or taking it upon themselves to monitor their employees — who knows?

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