WINSTON SALEM, N.C. –Soldiers assigned to the North Carolina National Guard’s 130th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade began augmenting the COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Forsyth County of Public Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Jan. 12, 2021.North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper activated the NCNG to provide vaccination support to local health providers. Forsyth County has two NCNG Strike Teams consisting of six Soldiers each.Army Staff Sgt. Stacie Tindle oversaw one strike team, consisting of two medics and four administrative support assistants. She said the team will be in place for as long as they are needed.“We’re here every day,” said Tindle, a medic assigned to Headquarters Company, 130th MEB. “We greet the customers out front and make sure they are in the system for their appointment. Citizens are so excited to be able to come and begin this process knowing they will have protection from COVID-19.”Once the citizens were checked in, they were walked through a process that included a questionnaire and more information about the vaccine. They also could make an appointment to return for their second vaccination.The Soldiers supplementing local health departments allowed health department leaders to breathe and return some of their staff to their normal public health work within clinics and public outreach.Joshua Swift, the Forsyth County Public Health Director, said that the collaboration has been practically seamless.“We started this in mid-December, and we’ve been doing it almost every day,” said Swift of their COVID-19 vaccination operations. “We really appreciate the National Guard coming here to help augment the services we are already doing.”Soldiers and health department employees were working side-by-side to safely and efficiently get North Carolinians vaccinated“Everyone here, whether it’s our staff at the health department or with the Guard, has the same mission in mind: To get this vaccine into as many arms as possible,” said Swift. “We can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”The NCNG mobilized about 50 Soldiers tasked with traveling to COVID-19 vaccination locations across the state. Gov. Cooper’s activation of the NCNG follows news that North Carolina’s vaccination rate is currently among the lowest in the country, with the goal to administer vaccines as quickly as possible.North Carolina is currently in Phase 1B, Group One, which makes the vaccine available to people aged 75 or older.For more National Guard newsNational Guard FacebookNational Guard TwitterHow the National Guard is helpingPhotos of the National Guard responseLatest from the CDC