Wake County expects to have 2/3 vaccinated by June, now shifting strategy to reach more

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Wake County is shifting its strategies as demand drops for the COVID-19 vaccine.

About half the county is at least partially vaccinated as of Tuesday.

At first, the county’s goal was to vaccinate as many people as possible using mass vaccination clinics.

Now, the county is call its new efforts “Vaccinate Wake 2.0” and taking the vaccine to where it is needed most and administered the least.

As part of the new efforts, mass vaccination clinics will soon be a thing of the past in Wake County.

The ones at PNC Arena and the county’s Commons Building will be the first to go this month.

“I think that’s what COVID’s really taught us is we can have great outcomes when we go and take care into these communities and provide for them,” said Ryan Jury, mass vaccination branch director for Wake County.

The state released a map that shows areas with high vulnerability to COVID-19 and low rates of vaccinations.

Wake County Public Health is creating teams and training community members to send to those places.

“I think what we’re really learning now is even though there’s a group of individuals who live in a ZIP code, there are still pockets of communities and different groups that haven’t been able to get the vaccine in the way we hoped,” said Jury.

They are putting regional vaccine sites around the county and simplified their online appointment system.

“A big thing happening for us is really the outreach happening prior to events, really getting into the community, canvassing, knocking on doors,” said Jury.

They are ramping up mobile clinics and pop-up vaccine events, like the recent one at Trophy Brewing.

“You can go to your favorite brewery and get refreshments and get vaccinated, that’s unbelievable,” said Commissioner Vickie Adamson, vice-chair of Wake County Commission.

Similar to other counties, Wake is seeing a drop in demand.

They’re going to keep looking at the data to see what areas are lacking and make sure the vaccine will be accessible for the long run.

“I really think this is the moment for transformation,” said Dr. James West, commissioner with Wake County.

Wake County health leaders said the county is on track to surpass the state’s goal of having two-thirds of the population vaccinated.

They expect to reach two-thirds vaccinated by June 1.

However, they’d like to see closer to 80 to 90 percent vaccinated, especially with those 50 years and older.

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