RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Tens of thousands of people are now on Wake County’s waitlist to receive their COVID-19 vaccine.
The system had a rocky start when it launched on Tuesday, but CBS 17 spoke to some people who were able to sign up Tuesday and already get their first shot Wednesday.
Wake County Commissioner James West is one of the many who rushed to get his COVID-19 vaccine.
“I just looked at it as an opportunity to have a good quality of a life,” said West.
On its first day, nearly 39,000 people signed up to be on the county’s vaccine waitlist. By 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, that number had reached 43,386.
More than 500 already had appointments by Wednesday morning.
“They are very organized. They’ve got it – bam, bam, bam,” said Cathie Blake, who got vaccinated after signing up two weeks ago. “It takes the anxiety away a little bit to know you’re on the path.”
Many of the appointments on Wednesday were made by people before this week.
“I’m a dental hygienist and the dental practice is in people’s mouths without masks. I think every dental person who’s done this before the vaccine are superheroes,” said Jean Dunyak, who received her first vaccine dose Wednesday.
About 2,700 people are getting vaccinated this week by Wake County.
“I’m loving this. I’m loving this, so I can go to my people, treat them knowing that I’m not at risk,” said Dunyak.
County officials said they are working through any hiccups and asking for people to be patient.
“When you’re doing something real new, there are possibilities of a lot of things we haven’t seen, and glitches and things that can happen,” said West.
The county said they need more doses to get through this group quickly.
Depending on how many they receive in the future, it could take several weeks or several months.
Although many are starting to get vaccinated, many are still frustrated as they feel left behind.
At 90 years old, Nancy Bankauf has a good reason to want the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I’d like to get it because I’m pretty old,” Nancy Bankauf said and laughed.
She said she has adjusted to the pandemic lifestyle.
“I stay home most of the time, I don’t go out, once in a while with my mask and so forth, but mostly I’m just staying home,” said Nancy Bankauf.
She is concerned about COVID-19 after being hospitalized years ago for the flu.
“I would just like to not have to worry about getting this,” she said.
Nancy Bankauf lives with her daughter Susan who also worries.
“At 90, if she gets it, she could get very sick if not die,” said Susan Bankauf.
They live in Person County, but Nancy Bankauf’s doctor is in Durham.
Most places don’t require proof of county citizenship since it is a federal program, so they’re looking for an appointment anywhere within driving distance.
“Everything’s full because now the 65 and older can get it, so they’re all lining up so I can’t find anyone to vaccinate her,” said Susan Bankauf. “I’ve been trying, calling everybody.”
Her mom can’t handle one of the drive-up clinics that takes hours to wait through.
“I’m glad other people are getting vaccinated, but she’s supposed to be a priority and they’re going right past her and I can’t find anybody that will even put her on a waitlist,” said Susan Bankauf.
She hopes her mother can soon join the many others getting vaccinated.