More than 70,000 COVID shots given at Winston-Salem Fairgrounds, site shuts down for good


WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — Nearly 80,000 COVID shots have been given in one location since January. That’s when the mass vaccination site at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds opened.

At 6 p.m. on Monday, the site closed for good, marking a turning point in COVID vaccinations in the Triad.

Just a few months ago, the parking lot at the fairgrounds was packed with vehicles as people showed up to get their vaccine. Now it’s nearly empty, and the time has come to move onto the next phase to get people vaccinated.

“We started in late January here, but that didn’t happen overnight. The team of dedicated staff in the department of public health, I just can’t say enough about the nurses and all the staff working here 16 hour days. Some staff here before the clinic opens and here after it closes,” said Forsyth County Health Director Joshua Swift. 

A bittersweet moment and countless hours spent creating spots for people to get shots. Swift told FOX8 that about 75,000 people came to the Winston-Salem fairgrounds for vaccinations.

As demand diminishes, big sites are no longer needed. Incentives are being offered to encourage people to get their shot. 

On Monday, state health officials announced $25 gift cards will be given out in Guilford and Rockingham counties starting Wednesday. 

Free axe throwing and discounts to Dash games are being used in Forsyth county. 

“They draw attention, and they can work for people,” Swift stated. 

Swift told FOX8 that even if a small number of people show up to a vaccine event, it’s a success. 

“We’re giving the vaccine to fewer people, but those shots still mean a lot more to those individuals. To make it more convenient between the health department and outreach events in the community, where people live, where people play, where people work,” Swift explained. 

Angelica Massey and Antoinette Ford both got their second doses before the clinic closed Monday. They think the incentives will really motivate people to get protected.

“Incentives make me want to come out and do other things. Incentives are good,” Ford stated. 

Massey would love to see more incentives. 

The FEMA site at the Four Seasons in Greensboro will close for good on Thursday at 7 p.m. 

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