RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina went from getting its first COVID-19 case to its first vaccination in less than a year.
Vaccine demand has now outweighed supply making appointments difficult to get.
Many people are left wondering when it will be their chance to get a COVID-19 vaccine if they don’t fall in the priority groups.
Dr. Julie Swann is the head of the N.C. State Industrial and Systems Engineering Department. She models pandemics and said we are still in the early stages of vaccinations.
“If we we continued at the same rate, 70 percent of the population would receive a first dose by late summer, early fall so that’s a ways away,” said Swann.
She said that timeline could be moved up if vaccine manufacturing speeds up, creating more supply. The introduction of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine could move up the timeline too as it only required a single dose, reaching Americans twice as fast.
Normality is what many people continue to seek.
“How long will it take for the herd immunity to become effectice so we don’t have to such a high level of being worried about getting COVID in the long run,” asked Shirlene Sims of Raleigh.
“When I think about it for myself, if i think about it like a dinner with friends without masks on, I’m targeting late summer for that kind of activity- anticipating that many of us with have access to the vaccine,” Swann said.
Swann said normalcy will come piece by piece. While you may be able to have dinner parties by fall- things like unrestricted international travel may not come as quickly.