Johnston County Health Department begins to vaccinate school staff after receiving extra doses

Johnston County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – With the COVID-19 vaccine in limited supply, some North Carolina counties are getting doses that were turned away by other providers.

This week, the Johnston County Health Department says it received extra doses of COVID-19 vaccine which will help them begin to vaccinate school staff.

“We continue to see a good overall turnout at the vaccine clinics that we’re offering,” said Paulette Williams, a public information officer for Johnston County.

Williams said the county received 3,500 doses this week. Roughly half that supply was supposed to arrive last week, but was delayed by winter weather.

Williams says other doses came from a county that rejected them.

“We did receive additional doses. I don’t know the reason as to why the doses were declined by the other counties, nor do I know specifically what counties had declined,” said Williams.

CBS 17 reached out to several health departments to learn more about why they might turn down vaccine.

Halifax, Hoke, Person, Orange, Northampton, Wilson, Chatham, Harnett, and Moore counties all responded saying they’ve never rejected dose of vaccine.

Wayne County was the only county that responded saying they once had to reject 200 equity does offered to them by the state.

According to a spokesperson, the county had to turn down the doses because they were short staffed that week and would not be able to meet the state’s deadline to administer the doses.

Wayne County never physically had the doses, so they couldn’t save them for later.

According to a spokesperson, since then Wayne County has ramped up staff and accepted twice as many equity doses, and any extra doses offered.

Durham County’s health department says once early on in the vaccine rollout, they had to deny a shipment of vaccine.

According to a Durham County health department spokesperson, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services instructs health departments to deny doses if they have not used up 90 percent of their existing supply by the shipment date.

Durham County’s health department says at that time, they didn’t have enough capacity to use up the supply of vaccines by the state’s deadline.

Since they, they’ve extended capacity and haven’t denied any shipments.

The NCDHHS says if a provider declines vaccine, they move the doses to a location that has the capacity to take them.

“If no providers have the capacity, we allocate extra doses to events, to locations that help achieve geographic equity, or to address issues that arise after the initial allocations,” said NCDHHS in a statement.

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