Vaccine supply up, demand ‘softening’ in New Hanover County

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — There are more opportunities to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in New Hanover County, but it seems supply could be exceeding demand.

“Last week and this week we are seeing a softening of turnout,” said recently-appointed New Hanover County Public Health Director David Howard. “We opened approximately 3,000 appointments last Friday and only about 700 of those appointments are taken at this point.”

The county is also offering walk-up vaccinations at three different locations: The Health and Human Services building, Independence Mall, and the MLK Center. Howard says those make up about a quarter to half of all vaccinations administered by the department.

“With the appointments it’s easier, if you want to get an appointment you know you’re going to get in,” Howard said. “We do take appointments first at the top of each hour and at the half hour before we accept any walkups.”

Around 33 percent of New Hanover County residents have been fully vaccinated. With the rate of positive cases again jumping higher than seven percent, Howard says he’d like to see more residents take advantage of the vaccine supply.

“It is possible for additional variants to form because of relatively high transmission rates,” he said. “That’s where variants come from, so we’d like to see people vaccinated as soon as possible.”

Howard says most of the county’s current supply is the Pfizer vaccine, which is approved for everyone 16 and older.

“We would encourage everyone 16 and over and their parents to seek out a vaccine. The threat of serious illness may not be as strong with the younger age group but the transmission across the community is still a serious threat.”

Howard says they could potentially resume administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine following a decision at the federal level later this week.

You can sign up for a vaccine appointment here.

You can read more about the county’s vaccination efforts here.

Bladen County Health Director Terri Duncan says vaccine supply there has exceeded demand for the past three weeks.

Categories: Local, New Hanover, News

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