First-dose vaccines postponed due to state vaccine supply shortages
Because supply of first-dose vaccines will not be provided by the state this week and future supply quantities are uncertain, UNC Health Southeastern will be postponing all first-dose vaccine appointments that were scheduled for Thursday, January 28 and subsequent vaccine clinic days at their Lumberton and Pembroke vaccine clinics. Second-dose vaccine appointments will continue to be honored as supply is currently available as provided by the state.
“We understand that this is a disappointment to many, as it is for us, however, we are limited by what vaccines are provided to us through the state vaccination system,” said Jason Cox, UNC Health Southeastern Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “As our supply is replenished by the state, we will work hard to get vaccination appointments re-instated, as we understand how important this effort is in helping to win the battle against COVID-19. Our teams have been working tirelessly to get vaccine out as quickly and as efficiently as possible.”
Individuals who had first-dose appointments on and after Thursday, Jan. 28 will receive a telephone call notifying them of the postponement. Due to anticipated high call volumes, individuals are asked not to call the health system regarding vaccine postponements. As first-dose vaccines are received from the state, appointments will be re-scheduled as supply allows.
“As long as we are getting such a small amount of vaccine as a state, there are going to be challenges and shortages as we try to ensure equitable access to vaccine, while getting shots into arms quickly,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, MD, in a January 25 press release. “We understand this is hard for providers who are doing everything right.”
According to NCDHHS, beginning on January 27, North Carolina will have only 120,000 doses to allocate across the entire state. Many providers are getting small or no allocations for the coming week and, through no fault of their own, they will be postponing appointments.
As of January 25, UNC Health Southeastern had administered 4,521 first-dose vaccines and 846 second-dose vaccines. The health system also provided 975 vaccine doses to the Robeson County Health Department, when they had exhausted their supply in early January, in an effort to quickly vaccinate as many eligible individuals as possible.