Healthcare providers who have seen supplies of coronavirus vaccines significantly reduced or suspended due to the abrupt change of state in favor of mass vaccination clinics will soon receive more doses, a senior North Carolina public health official said Tuesday. (Click on the video player for more coronavirus headlines from WXII 12 News) “This week will feel particularly tight as many providers receive little or no funding,” Mandy Cohen, secretary of the State Department of Health and Humanitarian Services, told a news conference. . “But we know that our suppliers need as much stability as we can provide in a very volatile environment.”
Healthcare providers who have seen significant reductions or suspensions in coronavir vaccine supplies due to the abrupt change of state in favor of mass vaccination clinics will soon receive more doses, a senior North Carolina public health official said Tuesday. .
(Click on the video player for more coronavirus titles from WXII 12 News)
“This week will feel particularly tight as many providers receive little or no funding,” Mandy Cohen, secretary of the State Department of Health and Human Services, told a news conference. “But we know that our suppliers need as much stability as we can provide in a very volatile environment.”
As part of the department’s plan, the state will guarantee 84,000 new first doses of vaccines each week in the counties based on the population for the next three weeks. The remaining 36,000 weekly doses will be used to balance district distributions and improve access for racial and ethnic minorities.
Cohen and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper have cemented the recent instability of vaccines on the federal government. Local officials, for their part, have criticized the state for creating a distribution system that it says is constantly changing, poorly communicated and unfair.
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The administration of President Joe Biden will increase the minimum weekly supply of states over the next three weeks from 8.6 million to 10 million, or 16%. Cohen said Tuesday afternoon that it was not yet clear what the new number of deliveries in North Carolina would be. But with almost all depleted supplies and upcoming more mass vaccination events, thousands of North Carolina residents with delayed appointments may see additional delays.
Jesse Williams, 81, of Raidsville, had an appointment for Cone Health scheduled for Thursday at the Greensboro Coliseum. But the provider announced late last week that it would have to withdraw 10,400 meetings after the state unexpectedly diverted supplies elsewhere.
Williams, who maintains an active lifestyle and longs to play golf and attend church services in person, said his granddaughter had scheduled the meeting on his behalf nearly three weeks ago.
“It was a little discouraging when I heard on the news that this had happened,” Williams said on Tuesday. “I’m not upset about that. I’m more disappointed.”
Williams and thousands of others have not been told when they will be able to be vaccinated, prompting some to seek help elsewhere.
Pete Glidwell, a 74-year-old real estate agent from Elon, also had an appointment for Thursday at the Colosseum. He now plans to drive 90 minutes to get the vaccine in Dobson, a small town in Surrey County.
Cohen said residents of different counties and states can travel freely for their vaccines. On Tuesday, she acknowledged that the redistribution of vaccines to major sites, such as Charlotte Motor Speedway and Bank of America Stadium, was intended to address concerns that the state could reduce the distribution of funds if it did not speed up the vaccine.
“We wanted to show the federal government that we are ready to take more vaccines and we want that vaccine here,” Cohen said. “We moved our posture at speed.”
About 30,000 people can be vaccinated at Bank of America Stadium, where Carolina Panthers play this weekend, according to Charlotte-based Honeywell International, which has partnered with Panthers owner David Tepper and Atrium Health to host the clinic. These vaccinations alone would amount to a quarter of the current distribution of 120,000 doses per week in the country. Meanwhile, Williams and others remain waiting.
“Everyone should be treated equally. I agree with that,” Williams said. “But these meetings were set with the assurance that Cone Health and many others would get what they were assigned. I don’t think we are more important than them (the people of Charlotte) or they are more important than us. “It’s just a disappointment that we expected to take pictures and be a little more resistant to COVID-19.”