Wake County health care workers find difficulty receiving COVID-19 vaccine

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WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WNCN) – A local nurse practitioner says despite being a healthcare worker, she had trouble getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Schquthia Peacock, a nurse practitioner with Preston Medical Associates in Cary, says it took several weeks to get on a list for a COVID-19 vaccine, despite health care workers being in the top priority group.

“It was a little bit of an ordeal.  As an independent private care office, we are not associated with an institution that would give us priority, like UNC or Duke.  So we had to find a way to get our names added to the list,” said Peacock.

Wake County officials say there are an estimated 50,474 health care workers in Group 1 who are not affiliated with a health care system.

According to a spokesperson, Wake County has not received enough vaccine to vaccinate even 1/5 of those people, and warns it may have taken several weeks to address the supply and demand issue. 
“There’s plenty of us in the primary care realm that are trying to find our way to a COVID vaccine,” said Peacock.

Wake County officials say they’ve been receiving 975 first doses of vaccine each week.

Although vaccine distribution opened up to health care workers and people 65+, Wake County is still prioritizing health care workers, according to a spokesperson.  

However, county officials say hospitals are also hosting vaccination events and health care workers should check for availability there as well.

Peacock says the difficulty getting vaccine is concerning because many health care workers in private practices are exposed to COVID19 at work.  She’s currently treating a family of six who all have the virus.

“It’s affecting families.  It’s affecting households.  It’s affecting them to the point where people are having secondary symptoms even after they cleared the virus,” she said.

Peacock was ultimately able to get prioritized and get her first dose through Wake County.
“Thrilled. I was probably a little bit shaking at the excitement,” she said.

She’s now encouraging other to do the same, saying the vaccine is safe, effective and will save lives.

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