More than 20,000 vaccinated in New Hanover Co., 4,800 receiving second doses this week

COVID-19 vaccine (Photo: Sydney Bouchelle/WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Upwards of 20,000 people have been vaccinated so far in New Hanover County and more than 4,800 are receiving their second doses this week.

New Hanover County Assistant Health Director David Howard says vaccine rollout is going very well and since opening appointments, only 5% of patients have cancelled their appointments to receive the vaccine.

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Staff only removes vaccines from storage as needed, so this along with being able to transfer supplies with distribution partners in the community has allowed the county to avoid wasting any doses of the vaccine since it cannot be stored after brought out from the ultra-cold storage.

Howard encourages residents to be patient while they wait their turn for the vaccine.

“We’re glad to see that most people are more than willing to accept the vaccine and receive it,” Howard said. “We wish we had more and we wish we could get it out faster, but we will commit to administering the vaccine that we receive each and every week.”

The UK variant of the virus has been detected in North Carolina. Howard says early studies from vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna show their vaccines are protective against this variant.

The South African and Brazilian Variants have not yet been detected in the state.

“We operate as if we assume they are here, which is why we continually ask people to follow the preventive measures to prevent transmission,” Howard said.

He notes that more transmission increases the probability of more variants, emphasizing the importance of distancing, masking and washing hands.

To sign up for notifications when vaccine appointments become available through the county, visit their website.