NC Health Officials Address Vaccine Shortage Concerns

CHARLOTTE, NC. — This week, hospitals will feel the strain of getting little to no covid vaccine. State Health Director Dr. Mandy Cohen says it’s because most of the doses allocated to the state are going to large-scale vaccination events that were planned weeks ago.

“We’ve communicated with all vaccine providers, outlined a process for allocation for the coming weeks to ensure more transparency and certainty now that the state has largely exhausted the backlog that vaccine supply,” says Dr. Cohen.

Dr. Cohen says moving forward vaccines will be allocated to each county based on population and then divided among county providers based on vaccine capacity.

“Starting with this week’s allocation, North Carolina will reserve 84,000 doses of our weekly 120,000 allocations of first doses from the federal government for our local vaccine providers.”

Dr. David Priest with Novant Health is hopeful vaccine supply will increase in the coming weeks. He says Novant has not had to cancel vaccination appointments.

“We think that’s going to improve. We’ve had reassurance from the state that they’ll be more transparency in the distribution process. Some more understanding about how they come to the conclusions they’re coming to,” says Dr. Priest.

In Mecklenburg County, Health Director Gibbie Harris says the availability of the vaccine is an issue. She’s asking for patience from the community.

“We know that the demand is much greater than the availability and will continue to get this maxing out as quickly as we receive it,” says Harris.