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Gaston County Receives Some of New Johnson & Johnson Vaccine, Prepares for Group 3 Vaccination Push

GASTONIA, N.C. – Gaston County continues its progress in getting residents vaccinated, and is excited to announce that Gaston Emergency Medical Services is getting 1,200 doses of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week.

Those doses will allow GEMS personnel to target individuals who have significant barriers to getting the COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination clinic, including the homeless, homebound seniors and other marginalized populations.

“This opportunity to get additional folks vaccinated now is possible thanks to a tremendous partnership between our department and Public Health,” GEMS Chief Mark Lamphiear said. “We are dedicated as an agency as a county to making sure anyone who wants a COVID-19 shot can get one.”

That vaccine is on top of the normal allocation coming to the Gaston County Health Department. The Health Department is moving its mass vaccination clinics to the Eastridge Mall parking lot starting this Friday. The County plans to vaccinate 1,150 residents at this Friday’s clinic.

“We’re excited to begin our vaccination work at this new site,” Public Health Director Steve Eaton said. “We want to extend our sincere appreciation to the City of Gastonia for their partnership in allowing us to use the Farmer’s Market these past two months, and look forward to the opportunities to be able to do even larger vaccination events at the Eastridge Mall.”

The County is also responding to Gov. Roy Cooper’s push today to open vaccinations to all of Group 3, which includes essential workers like grocery store employees, critical manufacturing employees, government and public safety employees and more. A full list is available at The governor also announced those in Group 4, which targets adults younger than 65 with pre-existing health conditions, will be eligible for the vaccine starting March 24.

The County continues to schedule appointments for 65-and-older residents, teachers, healthcare and daycare workers that have pre-registered at Those residents in Groups 1 and 2 who have not yet received an appointment can email or call 704-866-3170 and leave a message that a call center volunteer will return.

Essential workers, those in Group 4 and anyone in Groups 1 and 2 who have not yet registered to receive a vaccine can pre-register for an appointment spot at Those on the pre-registration list are then sent an email with a link to an appointment scheduler when their turn in line comes.