March 22, 2021 - In a unique partnership that came together in just a few days’ time, Charlotte Douglas International Airport and the Aviation Department were at the epicenter of mass COVID vaccination efforts this month in North Carolina.
Led by Atrium Health, the vaccination clinic was held at the Airport March 17 and 18 and was aimed at transportation workers who have not missed a beat, or a day at work, since the pandemic began a year ago. They have worked tirelessly to keep CLT operating smoothly and serve passengers’ travel needs.
Airlines at CLT have been critical partners in the nation’s transportation network, shuttling not only people but emergency supplies, masks and, even vaccines, around the country. The Airport never closes.
When the opportunity arose to help thousands of Airport workers (as well as the community around us) get vaccinated for COVID-19, a team of dozens of Aviation employees moved quickly to help plan and coordinate the combination drive through and walkup vaccination clinic.
In all 300 volunteers helped so that nearly 5,000 people received their first of two vaccines. An on-site clinic was convenient for those working at the airport and it demonstrates the power of teamwork and communicates a strong message: if you want a vaccine, we want to make it easy for you to get it. It’s an important next step in helping the travel and tourism industry bounce back from months of lackluster business.
Charlotte Douglas International Airport has been luckier than most. As American Airlines’ second largest connecting hub airport, CLT has benefitted from the power and strength of the airline’s business model during the pandemic. CLT has remained busy. That’s been shocking to many passengers who board a flight at a smaller, mostly deserted airport and land in Charlotte where it takes determination to social distance while navigating the terminal.
CLT has been fortunate and owes a big thanks to its passengers and partners for helping us keep the airport safe for everyone. In late 2020 the U.S. Surgeon General connected through CLT and tweeted that he was impressed that CLT passengers were following CDC guidance by masking up.
We also owe thanks to Atrium Health for partnering with the Aviation Department, City of Charlotte and American Airlines on the clinic. In two weeks, everyone who received their first shots will return to the Airport for the second round of vaccinations.