Durham, North Carolina —As the number of new COVID-19 cases in North Carolina is approaching a record high every day, the process of launching a vaccine is becoming more and more urgent.
However, in some counties, vaccine commitments have been slow.
Although some counties have begun to vaccinate people 75 years and older, Durham is still in stage 1A, vaccinating health care workers and personnel in long-term care facilities. Only one-third of the vaccine was vaccinated.
Durham County (Durham County) has received 3,200 doses of Moderna vaccine, and as of Friday afternoon, they have received 810 doses. About 16% of vaccines have been transferred to other medical institutions.
This means that about 59% of the products are still on the shelves.
In contrast, Wake County has administered 2,479 doses out of 3,900 vaccine doses and is preparing to enter Phase 1B next week. Even so, the speed of action in Wake County is slower than that of other surrounding counties.
The director of the Durham County Health Department has not yet been interviewed. However, it seems that part of the reason Durham’s pace is slower is their more cautious and methodical approach.
At a recent recovery and renewal working group meeting in Durham, Director of Health Rod Jenkins reported that the speed of the current vaccination process is affected by many factors.
Jenkins said: “We are taking time to ensure that we can move to the next stage in a very safe and effective way.”
Jenkins said that each individual vaccination requires time and care-including inspections, keeping a distance from society, and monitoring each vaccinee safely before sending them home.
He said: “I have seen news reports from other counties that our beloved seniors are in long lines, get up at 4 in the morning and wait for several hours to get the vaccine.”
He said: “We don’t want to take care of our most vulnerable citizens at will. We want to make sure we do it the right way.”
Jenkins said that pace is a balancing act between planning, screening, documentation and process operations-one of the biggest concerns is to ensure that vaccines are not wasted.
The health department has received the dose of Pfizer vaccine and will begin to manage it this week.
There is no timetable for when Phase 1B will start in Durham. However, the scheduled media roundtable scheduled for Tuesday morning may provide more answers.
Although the county health department has not yet initiated Phase 1B, the Duke Health Department has begun accepting appointments.
If you need more information on how to use the COVID vaccine in your county, WRAL has created a reference guide for county and county information.