FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – Both Cumberland County and Cape Fear Valley Health were able to vaccinate more than 1,000 people per day at mass COVID-19 vaccine clinics. How much did those sites cost to run?
Cape Fear Valley Health Vice President of Professional Services Chris Tart said it cost $20,000 to $40,000 a day to run those big clinics.
“It’s not just about technology. It really is labor intensive to pull these things off,” Tart said.
The government pays for the vaccines and insurance companies help with administration fees, but the majority of the upfront cost and staffing is on the health system.
“You have nurses, you have pharmacists, you have paramedics, you have registration staff,” Tart said. “It really can get expensive based on the numbers.”
Clinics became more efficient over time, which in turn lowered the cost and number of resources needed. Still, no clinic is cheap to run. Even the smaller clinics cost at least a couple thousand dollars a day to operate.
Cape Fear clinics require an appointment which helps them determine the amount of resources needed for each clinic.
“You don’t want to launch a massive event and have all these resources there and have nobody show up. It’s a poor use of time and resources that are expensive resources that have other jobs to do,” Tart said.
Tart said the majority of employees are now back to their normal duties since turnout has been dropping at clinics.
“It’s really unfortunate because we have doses to give and we want to give them, but there’s just not a demand there,” Tart said.
Cape Fear is hosting Johnson and Johnson vaccine clinics this week at Health Pavilion North. They are Tuesday and Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
There are 1,500 doses available. As of Monday afternoon, 15 appointments were made.