‘Speeding up every day:’ More than 450,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine given so far, NC leaders say

Coronavirus

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — More than 100,000 shots of the COVID-19 vaccine have been given in North Carolina during the past five days, according to state data.

The state Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday updated its vaccination statistics for the first time since last Thursday, and the 41 percent overall increase illustrates how the pace seemingly has picked up in a state that has lagged behind others in the massive process of conducting the large-scale inoculation.

More than 3 percent of the state’s population of 10.5 million has received at least one dose. A week ago, that figure was less than 2 percent.

“It is the top priority of my administration to make sure we do this as quickly and as equitably as we possibly can,” Gov. Roy Cooper said at the vaccine site at the University of North Carolina’s Friday Center.

A total of more than 450,000 doses have been given across the state so far, reported either through the state’s vaccine management system or through the federal government’s deal with two pharmacy chains to vaccinate long-term care residents.

Nearly 405,000 doses were reported through the state’s vaccine management system to either health-care workers or people older than 65, with more than 340,000 people — an increase of 45 percent from the previous update — receiving at least one of the two recommended doses of the vaccine and 60,073 people having received both doses, up 35 percent.

“And we’re speeding up every day,” NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said. “We’ve heard the governor’s charge to make sure we’re accelerating getting folks vaccine, and from a state perspective we want to help make sure our partners are successful.”

Another 54,000 doses have been administered at nursing homes through the federal partnership with CVS and Walgreens. Those numbers are not included in the state’s demographic and geographic breakdowns.

The data shows 15 counties — including Edgecombe and Northampton in the CBS 17 viewing area — more than doubled the number of shots administered in the five days between state reports. Put another way, those counties gave more doses in less than a week than they did during the entire preceding month.

Wake County continues to lead the state in total vaccinations with more than 38,000 — an increase of more than 11,000 from last week, with 7,446 of the county’s 1.1 million residents having received both doses. Durham County’s total increased by 28 percent to 19,926 total doses given.

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