Drive-thru clinics or appointment only? Vaccine distribution varies by county

Johnston County News

MICRO, N.C. (WNCN) — Each county is handling vaccine distribution a little bit differently, some are holding no appointment drive-thru clinics, others are appointment only.

The Johnston County Health Department said it wants to get does into arms as quickly as possible. With the uncertainty of how many doses they’ll get week to week, they said having people line up is the way to go.

The tents are up at North Johnston High School in Micro. The county is preparing for another drive-thru clinic Thursday where they plan to distribute 500 doses of the vaccine. It’s for frontline healthcare workers and anyone 75 or older.

“We’ve had great turnout. We’ve had lots of people wanting the vaccine,” Dr. Jennifer Green, the Cumberland County Health Department Director said.

They too have been holding drive-thru clinics. But starting Tuesday they’ll move to a hybrid model, offering appointments in two sessions, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 11 a.m to 1 p.m. The second part of the day will be first come, first serve.

“We have those set appointments in the morning and any missed appointments; we’ll use those doses in the afternoon,” Green said.

Green said they’ve been able to use every dose thus far.

Those interested in an appointment will need to fill out an application. There’s a number to call for help with that.

Orange County has a different approach, they’re appointment only.

“It allows us to manage our vaccine so we know how many appointments we can accept in a week,” Todd McGee, the Orange County Director of Community Relations said.

McGee said people there can fill out a form online or for those less tech savvy, call in.

“First day we had more than 4,000 people registered. So it’s been going very busy ever since. Clearly, we don’t have that many doses of the vaccine to give so part of it too is setting expectations for people,” he said.

County health departments said they only a week’s notice of how many doses they receive. That makes planning more of a challenge.

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