COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Gaston Medical Partners is no longer distributing the COVID-19 vaccine, but we encourage you to prioritize getting the vaccine where and when you can.

Where You Can Get the Vaccine

Atrium Health
Please note you will need to create a MyAtrium account.

CaroMont Health
If no appointments are available, join the interest list to receive updates.


Gaston County Public Health

Mecklenburg County Public Health
980-314-9400, Choose Option 3

Novant Health
Please note you will need to create a Novant MyChart account.

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control


Where We Are Now

More than 70,000 people volunteered in clinical trials for the two vaccines to see if they are safe and work to prevent COVID illness. Volunteers included Black/African American, Hispanic/LatinX, Asians and others. To date, the vaccines are 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 with no serious safety concerns noted in the clinical trials. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) makes sure the vaccines are safe and can prevent people from getting COVID-19. Like all drugs, vaccine safety continues to be monitored after they are in use.

You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine. You may have temporary reactions like a sore arm, headache or feeling tired and achy for a day or two after receiving the vaccine. Learn more in our COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs.

Take your shot at no cost. The COVID-19 vaccine will be available for free, whether or not you have insurance.

Who Is Eligible

As of April 7, 2021, North Carolina moved statewide vaccination eligibility to Group 5. This means all NC residents aged 16 and older are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more at the NC Department of Health and Human Services website or click here to find a vaccine provider.


Stay connected to us, and to your care. Never forget we’re with you every step of the way. 

Colonoscopy Planning: 6 Things to Discuss With Your Doctor

Early colorectal cancer often displays little to no symptoms, which is why screenings are so important. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that adults age 50 to 75 get screened for colorectal cancer, but there are other factors that may indicate earlier screening like a family history.

With the incidence of colorectal cancer rates – and deaths from those cancers rising in adults under 50, the American Cancer Society (ACS) now recommends that routine screenings should begin at age 45 for some. 

When making the decision to get a colonoscopy, it is important to have a plan in place. The physicians at Gaston Medical Partners want everyone to remember to discuss these six things with their primary care doctor before scheduling a colonoscopy.

1. Risk Factors

The risk of getting colorectal cancer increases as people get older but getting regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy diet, avoiding smoking and limiting alcohol intake may help lower the risk.

2. Family History

Some people are at increased risk of colorectal cancer because they have inflammatory bowel disease, a personal or family history of colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer, or genetic syndromes like familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (also known as Lynch syndrome). 

3. Screening Options

There are several screening tests that can be used to find polyps or colorectal cancer. The most common is a colonoscopy and is recommended at a frequency of every 10 years. During a colonoscopy, the doctor uses a long, thin, flexible, lighted tube to check for polyps or cancer inside the rectum and the entire colon. During the test, the doctor can find and remove most polyps and some cancers. A colonoscopy can also be used as a follow-up test if anything unusual is found during one of the other screening tests.

4. Colonoscopy Preparation

Anyone who has had a colonoscopy will say the worst part is drinking the bowel cleansing agent to prepare the night before. This cleansing agent helps to empty the colon and provide the doctor an unobstructed view and access to any polyps or suspicious spots. Here are a few things that can help make the experience more palatable.

  • Adjust diet a few days before the colonoscopy. Try to eat less and choose foods low in fiber.  
  • Put the bowel cleansing agent in the refrigerator at least 24 hours before drinking.
  • On the day before a colonoscopy, stick to a liquid diet.
  • Stay hydrated.

5. Day of Colonoscopy

It is important to arrive for the colonoscopy at the scheduled appointment time. This allows for patient registration, admission and preparation for the colonoscopy. Some patients with complex medical histories or unique situations may be asked to arrive earlier than scheduled.

All patients undergoing sedation or anesthesia are required to have a designated driver. Many facilities require that the driver remain in the waiting room during the procedure.

 6. Getting the Results

All screening test results are provided to the patient’s primary care doctor or gastroenterologist. Patients should discuss scheduling some time with their doctor to review results and discuss next steps.

If patients are concerned about colorectal cancer, they should make a plan for screening with their primary care physician discussing when to screen, which method and how often.

COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments – 6 Tips for Before and After

After a long, difficult pandemic, seeing more and more vaccines being administered can feel like the light at the end of the tunnel. When the vaccine is available for you, the doctors at Gaston Medical Partners recommend getting it as quickly as you can, not just to keep yourself safe but to keep your friends, family and the community healthy. 

When planning ahead for your COVID-19 vaccine appointment, follow these six tips to make sure the process goes smoothly and you feel informed, safe and comfortable along the way.

Before Your Appointment

1. Take the First Appointment Available to You

With vaccine appointments available at multiple distributors, it’s important to get the vaccine whenever and wherever you can. The first step is understanding which distribution group you fall into. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), which is managing vaccine distribution, has created five vaccination groups to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible, starting with those at the highest risk for getting dangerously sick. To learn which group you fall into, take their online survey. Once the vaccine is available for your group, use the NCDHHS’ vaccine finder to locate an appointment that is convenient for you. 

While many people express wanting to get the vaccine with their primary care physician or hoping for a specific version of the vaccine, it is most important to make the first available appointment to assure your health and the health of your loved ones. All approved versions of the vaccine are highly effective at fighting coronavirus. 

2. Plan to Manage the Side Effects

Be aware that the COVID-19 vaccine does have some side effects, which are expected. Much like the flu vaccine, the COVID-19 vaccine will make your arm a bit sore. You may also experience a day or two of fever, achiness and joint stiffness. These side effects mean your immune system is working to create the antibodies that will help fight off COVID-19 if you are exposed. 

You may want to plan ahead for these side effects, knowing you may not feel your best right after being vaccinated. Acetaminophen or NSAIDs can be helpful in managing these symptoms after you have been vaccinated. It is not yet known if these medicines could impact your antibody production so avoid taking them prior to your appointment, unless they are part of your prescribed regimen, like for fighting chronic pain. 

3. Dress Comfortably and Wear a Mask

The COVID-19 vaccine, just like your flu shot, is given in the upper arm. Wear clothes that allow easy access to your arm, like a T-shirt. At your appointment, be sure to follow all the precautions we have to fight COVID-19. Wear a mask, stay socially distanced from others and wash your hands.

After Your Appointment

4. Put Your Next Dose on the Calendar

If the vaccine you’ve received takes two doses, like those from Moderna or Pfizer, your vaccine distributor should make your second appointment before you leave. Be sure to put that appointment on your calendar and prioritize going, as it takes both doses to get the best protection. At 94-95% effective, these vaccines work very well at fighting COVID-19, but it takes about two weeks after both doses have been administered to reach this full effectiveness. 

5. Continue Taking Precautions Seriously

Over the course of the pandemic, we have come to know well the precautions that fight COVID-19, from wearing masks to remaining distant from others. It’s important to continue putting these precautions into practice as many more people still need to be vaccinated. 

Your trusty vaccine card does not mean it’s time to put precautions aside. Asymptomatic spread is still possible, meaning people may feel fully healthy but are still able to spread the COVID-19 virus to others, which is especially dangerous for the population who has not yet been vaccinated. 

6. Don’t Ignore Your Other Health Needs

During the pandemic, many people have put aside their ongoing health needs for fear of going to their doctor’s office. It’s important not to ignore your ongoing care. 

At Gaston Medical Partners, we continue to take precautions to assure our offices are optimized for your safety. Staying healthy means seeing your physician even when you are well, for annual visits. These appointments keep you at your best health.