GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Pitt County health officials say they’re making changes to their reservation process to get the COVID-19 vaccine due to overwhelming interest in the shots.
Starting Thursday, the county health department will offer a sign-up or waitlist option on its website for people 75 or older. Being on that list does not guarantee an appointment, but county workers will call people who signed up once more vaccines are available.
People without internet access can call the Pitt County Health Department to get on that list
Health Director John Silvernail said his team is working closely with Vidant and ECU physicians to smooth out this process.
“I wish I had a dose for everybody who wanted it right now,” Silvernail said. “I will say that we are not alone in this, we are working to get a joint vaccine operation up that will be a high-capacity operation for the general public and I’m hopeful that will happen in the next two weeks here.”
Pitt County Deputy Health Director Amy Hattem said she sent out a notice that her department had vaccines for people age 75 and older last week. Appointment slots filled up almost immediately, prompting the department to seek a change.
The wait list option can be accessed at here.
Individuals can also access this waitlist through the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Information Page.
“Within three hours of us sending out a news release, we had all 224 appointments filled,” Hattem said.
People who didn’t get the vaccine were not happy.
“They were not able to get in, and they felt that they did not have enough time to hear about it,” Hattem said.
Hattem said they’ve been hesitant to set up a wait list for the shots.
“We have not had staff capacity to be able to call back individuals and give them an appointment from a wait list,” Hattem said.
For now, that wait list is only for people age 75 and up. Health workers also set up additional phone lines to help schedule appointments.
“As we progress and we’re able to offer the vaccine to other individual populations, we will offer additional sign-ups for that,” Hattem said. “Once individuals’ names are placed on a waitlist, which they do online, they will be called back from individuals through this appointment system and they will be given appointment times.”
Silvernail explained other counties around the east also have limited vaccine supplies and asks people wanting the shots to show patience.
You can access the Pitt County Health Department website here or call 252-902-2300.