Onslow Co. starts vaccinating seniors; local hospital transfers doses to keep up with demand


(Onslow Memorial Hospital photo)

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Counties in the east are beginning efforts to vaccinate more people for the coronavirus. Onslow County is now giving shots to older people while still administering doses to medical and emergency personnel.

County officials are teaming up with Onslow Memorial Hospital to keep up with the demand. OMH has transferred 120 vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to the Onslow County Health Department. This equates to approximately 600-700 doses of the vaccine. 

The transfer of the vaccine will increase supply to the OCHD to support community demand as the state moves through the designated prioritization phases.

“We are excited to support our community in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by transferring these much-needed vaccines to our partners at the OCHD,” said OMH President and CEO, Dr. Penney Burlingame Deal, DHA, RN, FACHE.

“We moved through, I guess close to 1,100 or 1,200 vaccines in the last couple of weeks,” Onslow County Assistant Manager Sheri Slater said. “We’ve run out of our Moderna supply.

The re-supply from the hospital comes at a perfect time for the county’s health department as they begin vaccinating people 75 and older. More than 150 people received a COVID shot at the county’s vaccination clinic on Wednesday.

One of those people included Jane Swint, who has been in isolation since last March. A COVID shot in the arm is putting her one step closer to her children, grandchildren, and great-grand-children in Ohio. She hasn’t seen her family since the pandemic began.

Swint said she did not hesitate signing up for the COVID shot.

“The company that makes it does not want a lot of lawsuits for dead people, so they’re probably going to make it right,” Swint said.

The shots provides hope for people like Swint who want to fly safely and be reunited with family.

“Two weeks after the second shot, I will go to Ohio,” Swint said.

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