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Some providers turning down doses

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    CLAYTON, North Carolina (WRAL) — Only 13.9 percent of adults in North Carolina have been fully vaccinated, while another 7 percent have received the first of their two required doses.

Yet, vaccination providers in nearly two dozen North Carolina counties declined new doses of coronavirus vaccine last week, according to state Department of Health and Human Services data.

The reasons vary by location. One small pharmacy in Alamance County and Commwell Health in the Johnston County community of McGee’s Crossroads both said they simply didn’t have the staff available to administer more doses.

Meanwhile, Halifax County Health Director Bruce Robistow said he just couldn’t find enough people to get vaccinated.

“We had minimal appointments, and then we had no shows,” Robistow said Monday. “We exhausted our call list, and I still ended up with over half of my last week’s allocation left over.”

Tracking NC coronavirus cases by county Coronavirus in North Carolina: Maps, charts and data
Only about 20 percent of Halifax County residents are vaccinated.

“I’ve got a lot of work to do to enhance the desire for Halifax County citizens to want to be vaccinated,” he said. “I think there is misinformation out there.”

Robistow said he is trying to work with local religious leaders to reach more residents on the importance of the vaccine, and he’s hopeful that demand will increase once more people become eligible for the vaccine.

Halifax County has asked the state for doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, he said, noting many residents say they are waiting for that option because it’s only one shot instead of the two-dose regimen for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

“There is a large population of people that are scared to death of needles,” he said.

DHHS officials said that, when doses are declined, they are reallocated to other providers in the same area or to a mass vaccination site.

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