Tryon International Equestrian Center Does Double Duty As COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution Center

Jan 21, 2021 - 10:30 AM

Since December, the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, North Carolina, has been serving as a COVID-19 vaccine administration site.

“Our local public health director from Polk County called in October and said, ‘Sharon, we know the vaccines are coming, but we don’t know when. We want to execute successfully, and we wonder if we can use your location for this purpose,’ ” said TIEC Chief Operating Officer Sharon Decker.

Decker agreed immediately, and they had their first vaccination day on Dec. 15. Since then health officials have held three vaccination days at TIEC. The vaccinations take place in the indoor arena, where cars are organized into rows and individuals are pre-screened, as no one with a temperature or other symptoms may receive the vaccine. After receiving the vaccine—the Moderna vaccine is being administered at TIEC—individuals have to wait 15-20 minutes before leaving to make sure they don’t have a negative reaction.

To date, over 900 vaccines have been administered at TIEC, and another 600 are scheduled to be administered on Saturday, Jan 23.

“Healthcare workers and first responders were the first ones to receive the vaccine,” said Decker. “In North Carolina, anyone over 65 is eligible to receive it.

“I wasn’t surprised when [health officials] called because we have a very cooperative relationship with our officials,” she continued. “Our local officials have been very proactive about the realities of COVID and the management of COVID, and guests and riders with us who needed testing have been able to get it done.”

Decker anticipates more vaccination days as the vaccine rollout continues.

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