Mass COVID-19 vaccination events across the state, part of an effort to get more doses administered quickly in North Carolina, left Alexander County with no vaccine supply this week. The county was promised it will receive doses for the next three weeks.
North Carolina felt pressure from the federal government to deplete the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine the state had on hand before Tuesday to avoid a decrease in supply, according to an email from the Director of North Carolina Governor's Western Office Drew Christy to local health officials.
The federal government indicated it might reduce vaccine allocations for states with large amounts of supply on hand, the email read.
To deliver more doses, the state planned large-scale vaccination events, including one at Charlotte Motor Speedway and another at Bank Of America Stadium.
As a result, some vaccine providers got very few doses or no doses at all this week, Christy wrote. The Alexander County Health Department, the only provider in the county, did not get any new first doses this week.
Going forward, counties will receive some doses each week, though limited supply may mean small shipments.
North Carolina will receive 120,000 doses each week to cover the entire state. Starting next week, each county will get a portion of 84,000 of those doses based on county size. The remaining 34,000 doses will be distributed to historically marginalized communities.
Alexander County has been promised a minimum of 300 first doses each week for three weeks, according to Public Information Officer Gary Herman.
The county is able to vaccinate about 200 people in one day. There are about 3,000 people who are 65 and older on the waiting list for the vaccine, according to a county press release.
Statewide, 787,867 people have received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a Thursday update from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.
In Alexander County, 2,456 people have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
There are 8,196 Caldwell County residents who have received the first dose and 6,431 Burke County residents have received the first dose.
In Catawba County, 11,985 residents have received the first dose. Of those, 2,558 have had the second dose.
97 new cases
Catawba County reported 97 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the county total to 15,289, according to Catawba County Public Health.
Two new COVID-19 related deaths were reported Thursday, putting the county total at 236.
There are 106 county residents hospitalized with the virus.