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Large-scale events in other parts of NC mean fewer doses of COVID-19 vaccine for Dare and other counties

Dare County received fewer coronavirus vaccine doses than expected this week.

Dare County Health and Human Services Department was slated to receive 1,400 COVID-19 vaccine doses for use in clinics scheduled for this week. However, on Thursday, Jan. 21, the state’s Department of Health and Human Services said the county would only receive 700 vaccine doses, half of what was allotted for the week.

The cutback is not unique to Dare County. Hospitals and other local health departments across the state were also shorted.

In a Dare County media release, Sheila Davies, the county health director, said, “There are no words adequate to describe the frustration and dismay felt by myself and our team over having to cancel vaccination appointments for Friday’s clinic due to no fault of our own. The people in Dare County and rural North Carolina deserve equitable vaccine allocation from the state.”

She continued “We have been modelling the way for how to safely and efficiently administer large numbers of vaccines and have repeatedly communicated to the state that we could vaccinate 2,000 to 4,000 people per week if those vaccines would be allocated to us.”

As a result of the cut, some appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine clinic to be held Friday, Jan. 29 may have to be canceled.

A media release from the state’s Department of Health and Human Services published late Monday afternoon stated that “beginning on January 27, North Carolina will have only 120,000 doses to allocate across the entire state. A large portion of those doses are committed to the large-scale events planned several weeks ago to address the backlog in vaccine. As a result, many providers are getting small or no allocations for the coming week. Through no fault of their own, they will be postponing appointments.”

So far, the Dare County health employees have found 400 doses of the vaccine due to the transfer of vaccines from The Outer Banks Hospital and an anticipated transfer from Onslow Memorial Hospital. The county continues to search for more vaccine transfers.

If no more vaccine is found, then around 300 people will be contacted to reschedule their vaccination appointments.

States the Dare County media release, “you may direct any concerns or questions regarding vaccine allocation for Dare County to your state representatives or North Carolina Public Health’s customer service center at 1-800-662-7030.”

Last weekend, a large vaccine event was held at Charlotte Motor Speedway where 16,000 people were vaccinated. This upcoming weekend, organizers at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte are planning on vaccinating 20,000 to 30,000 people.

On Thursday in Currituck County, a drive-through vaccination event is set for Maple Park, located at 208 Airport Road in Maple, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. Currituck County is a member of Albemarle Regional Health Service, an eight-county health system. All eight counties in the regional service are listed in a Jan. 14 media release as part of the 22 counties listed for the large event push.

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