Some central NC health departments unsure they’ll be able to hit President Biden’s July 4 vaccination goal


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — President Joe Biden has set a new, ambitious goal in the effort to get Americans vaccinated against COVID-19. He’s pushing to have 70 percent of the country’s population inoculated by July 4. Right now, 33 percent of North Carolina’s population is fully vaccinated.

The state said it has enough doses to do it, but some local health departments are less optimistic.

There’s no longer a steady stream of people in and out of the Wake County Health Department. Instead, those getting vaccinated are more of a trickle.

“Because I’m pregnant, so I’m thinking of my baby and my family,” Elvira Barcas said.

“I want to get back to living a normal life and to get out and about,” Casey Croom said.

The decline in demand comes as Biden is pushing to get more people vaccinated. He wants 70% of adults to have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by July 4.

“We would really love to see that vaccinate rate not just be two-out-of-three by closer to 80 or 90 percent,” said Ryan Jury, the Wake County Health Department Mass Vaccination Branch Director.

Right now, about 32 percent of Wake County is fully vaccinated. The goal is 66 percent by June 1.

Over in Franklin County, the health director said Biden’s ask is “highly unlikely.” Only 24 percent of its population is fully vaccinated.

In Halifax County it’s closer to 30 percent.

“I know we could make it, but with the present demand and the impression that I’m given by people who I speak to, it will be challenging to get even close to that,” said Bruce Robistow, the Halifax County health director.

Robistow said some of their doses have gone to waste. They don’t have a waitlist and there’s no one to call at the end of the day if they have extras.

In response to CBS 17’s questions about vaccine hesitancy and the president’s goal, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services sent the following statement:

“COVID-19 vaccines are now widely available in North Carolina, and there is enough supply for the state to meet that goal. Providers are making it easier for people to get vaccinated through walk-in availability and extended hours. For North Carolina, we set a goal in April that once two-thirds of North Carolina adults have at least one shot and if trends are stable, the Governor plans to lift the indoor mask mandate and lighten other public health recommendations. The timing on achieving this goal will be determined by North Carolinians and how quickly people get vaccinated.”

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