Hundreds of cars, hours of waiting for first Duplin County mass vaccination clinic
Over 800 doses were available at the no-registration-required clinic.
KENANSVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Since nearly 7 Thursday morning, Auline Lanier, 84, waited to become one of the first 75 and older people to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Duplin County.
It was well worth the wait.
“When you get my age, you know something’s going to take you out anyways,” said Lanier, whose paramedic daughter contracted the virus last year. “I wouldn’t been staying in that line as long as I did if I hadn’t wanted it. My daughter had been after me a long time to take it.”
That was the case for hundreds of people in Duplin County, who waited for hours, backing up traffic during the early part of the morning, to get their best shot at normalcy.
“Our world is so different now than what it was two years ago,” said Adele Baker, 86.” I miss it.”
The event at the Duplin County Events Center was no registration required. It was made evident by the mass amount of people already lined up by 7 am Thursday. Eight hundred doses of the Moderna vaccine were available, according to Duplin County Health Director Tracey Simmons-Kornegay.
“It’s hard to make appointments when you don’t know how much allocations you have,” said Duplin County Health Director Tracey Simmons-Kornegay. “As we move through the phases, we’ll probably move to be more appointment-based. That’s the way we went previously for testing, so we’re taking the lessons learned from our testing events since May to make this work today.”
An event in Johnston County earlier this week used a similar style of mass vaccinations. Eventually, people were turned away because of high demand but short supply.
“It would be terrible to sit in line and then get up there and say they were out,” said Linda Smith, 77.
“I figured it would be a long line,” said Barbara Ricciotti. “And if I waited, I want to make sure I get the shot.”
WITN News was not able to confirm how many doses of the vaccine was administered. We also don’t know if any people were turned away from the vaccination clinic.
It’s an uphill battle for Lanier. Like many, would wait much longer to put the pandemic in the past.
“You don’t want anything to happen, especially to your grandchildren,” said Lanier. “Because you know they’ve got their whole life ahead of them.”
Duplin County officials say they are planning for another mass vaccination clinic but have not finalized details.
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