Severe winter weather elsewhere in the United States has caused delays in the shipment of vaccines against COVID-19 to North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper said.
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is in communication with federal officials and the vaccine providers to give as much information as possible about when new shipments will arrive so appointments can be rescheduled, he said in a press conference Thursday.
“Delays in vaccine shipment from the federal government are frustrating to us all, but providers are working to get appointments scheduled and we are pushing to get more vaccine to our state,” he said.
The delay is the latest hurdle in a state that is still vaccinating people 65 and older. Paige Counts, Caldwell County’s public information officer, said that Caldwell County has not received its shipment of vaccines for next week.
“However, we’ve not been forced to reschedule anyone at this point. Right now we’re in a wait and see,” she said.
Supply of the vaccine in Caldwell is constantly low in comparison to the overwhelming demand for the vaccine, Counts said.
Last week, the county received 150 doses of the Pfizer vaccine from Carolinas Healthcare System Blue Ridge, which helped the health department get through another day of vaccinations.
“They were able to loan us doses until we could return those to them,” Counts said.
Still, one thing that is speeding up the process is that health department officials calling people to schedule vaccination appointments are finding that some on the waiting list who are eligible for the vaccine have already been vaccinated somewhere else by the time the health department calls them.
The health department is working through its lengthy waiting list as quickly as possible because on Feb. 24, school personnel and people who work in day care centers become eligible.
When asked if the health department would have the supply for that, Counts said, “We hope so. Supply is always the question.”
Reporter Kara Fohner can be reached at 828-610-8721.