Jones County shouldn’t expect to get the coronavirus vaccine anytime soon

County health officials don’t expect to be in the first two rounds of shipments, and have not been informed of a date when they can expect the doses.
Published: Dec. 4, 2020 at 6:57 PM EST
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JONES COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - A COVID-19 vaccine could begin to roll out as soon as next Monday, with those on the frontlines expected to get the first doses.

That’s leaving some rural counties unsure when to expect their share.

Jones County doesn’t have a hospital. So, they don’t expect to be in the first or the second round of distributions.

“I guess you have to weigh the consequences of the virus against the benefits of the vaccine,” said County Health Director Ann Pike.

Pike doesn’t have a firm date yet when her county should expect their doses to arrive.

“We don’t know which hospitals will get them,” said Pike, “Obviously, there’s not going to be enough to get to every hospital.”

Eighty-eight doses of the vaccine approved via emergency action by the Food and Drug Administration should go out starting Monday, Dec. 14, with a second-round expected the following week.

“When it comes to time to do vaccinations, we’ll be ready,” said County Manager Franky Howard. “They have ensured us that no corners have been cut from the federal level, in terms of monitoring how these vaccines have been developed.”

Howard and Pike identified those concerns as a very real possible obstacle when rolling out the new vaccine. Convincing enough people to take the shot to make it worth it could prove to be a challenge.

However, the county leaders are urging patience and trust.

“The vaccine is supposed to be safe,” said Pike, “It has come out pretty quickly, but there have been a lot of studies done, and there are still being studies done.”

The small rural county plans to hold community drive-through vaccination events to ease access once the virus is widely available.

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