N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher holds COVID-19 vaccine clinic, awards free admission

New Hanover County wants to see vaccination numbers rise
Published: Jun. 27, 2021 at 6:35 PM EDT
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KURE BEACH, N.C. (WECT) - Come to the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher and you’re sure to see aquatic animals, otters, and even Luna, the albino alligator.

Typically there is an admission fee to enjoy the aquarium, but not for a certain group of people on Sunday afternoon.

“It is free of charge for anyone who shows that they have gotten their COVID vaccine today,” said Diana Vetter Craft, who is the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for New Hanover County Public Health.

The aquarium partnered with New Hanover County Health and Human Services for a drive-thru vaccine clinic, which is a strategy seen across our entire state.

“Other North Carolina aquariums and the zoo have also been doing that to help with incentivizing those residents and making sure that we get people vaccinated,” said Vetter Craft.

Since the vaccine is now approved for those 12 and up, the county felt that free admission to one of the most popular attractions in southeastern North Carolina was a smart plan.

“You get to come in and you get to enjoy and learn about our aquatic environment and possibly be inspired to take some steps in helping to conserve our marine and aquatic environment here,” said Jessica O’Neill, who is the Assistant Special Events Coordinator of the aquarium.

Medical professionals are hoping that fun incentives like this will help steer the Cape Fear in the right direction.

“We haven’t had a normal life for quite a while and getting the vaccine will help us be able to get back out into the community and just go back to normal,” said Susan Brown, a nurse supervisor at New Hanover County Health and Human Services.

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