Some NC health departments starting to see vaccine supply outweigh demand

Local News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Some North Carolina health leaders said they’re reaching the point where supply is outweighing the demand for the vaccine.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services recently put out a map with data for counties’ vaccination levels.

It shows vulnerable areas and areas with low vaccination rates.

Now, counties are trying to use it to their advantage.

“I am very concerned, we are very concerned,” said Karen Lachapelle, Edgecombe County Health Director.

Lachapelle said she is concerned to see what the map looks like for Edgecombe County. There are red patches and blue dots around Rocky Mount and Princeville.

The red represents the most vulnerable populations to COVID-19. The blue is where low numbers of people are vaccinated.

“If anyone wanted a COVID vaccine today, they could get it,” said Lachapelle.

Lachapelle said supply is no longer the issue.

Rather, demand is.

“Why people aren’t getting the vaccine — I don’t know,” she said. “Today, we could see over 100 patients, and we only have 28 scheduled.”

Edgecombe County and its partners offer everything from free transportation to vaccines, to after-hour and weekend clinics, to bringing shots to people in the community, to accepting walk-ins.

They’re also working with several churches and agencies to get people vaccinated.

“We’re going to continue to look at the map and try to offer more services,” said Lachapelle.

Durham County also has several red zones with blue dots.

“For those people who truly want it, it’s available,” said Rod Jenkins, Durham County’s public health director.

Jenkins said as of Monday, they are accepting walk-ins for the shot at the health department.

They are also using similar strategies to what they did for COVID testing to target these areas.

They have partnered with community-based organizations, local doctors, pastors, and families.

“We know we have to vaccinate as many people as we can because it’s truly a race between the variants and the vaccines,” said Jenkins.

He said the more data, like the state’s map, the better.

“The data has really moved the needle for us and really dictated all of our actions, so to get this information has been extremely helpful,” said Jenkins.

Wake County Public Health is talking with commissioners on Monday evening about what areas are still in need in Wake County.

East and Southeast Raleigh are the main ones.

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