North Carolina ranks near the bottom for vaccine rollout, according to CDC data
The CDC is now recommending states vaccinate people 65 and older and not hold back stock for second doses to speed up the process.
RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) - North Carolina is lagging behind on administering its vaccine distribution.
The state ranks sixth in the country for vaccine rollout, only administering about 26% of its distributed vaccines, so far.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC is now urging states to vaccinate people 65 and older and not to hold stock for second doses to speed up the process.
“We know that the more folks we add to the queue, the longer the line is gonna be,” said Onslow County Assistant County Manager Sheri Slater. “But, we have increased the capacity.”
|State||Percent Vaccines Administered|
|District of Columbia||48%|
That lag could get worse if more eligible populations are added into the fold. Slater says they’re waiting for the state’s cue, but feel comfortable adding more people to the line, as long as people know that means the line gets longer.
“We will open up our clinic to whatever group they tell us is next,” said Slater.
North Carolina is in Phase 1B of the vaccination process, which means people can only get the vaccine if they’re a first responder or 75 and older. Jones County just began administering vaccines to first responders last week.
Other states like Virginia, also in what they deemed to be their Phase 1B, started vaccinating essential workers like teachers and law enforcement this week.
“Each state is doing this slightly differently,” said North Carolina Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen. “For us, initially, we wanted to prioritize getting the vaccine to all 100 counties. We wanted an access point in all 100 counties.”
Health workers in counties like Onslow are concerned they currently don’t have enough people to give shots in arms. They’re looking for volunteers and paid staff to help distribute the vaccine.
“If there are people in the community who are qualified and licensed to do this and they want to volunteer their time, or they want to be temporary staff for us, we would definitely ask them to reach out to our county human resources,” said Slater. “We will definitely put them to work, we will put them on the schedule, and they can help distribute the vaccine.”
If you’re interested, you can contact Onslow County Human Resources to learn more.
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