Vaccine eligibility expands but demand for vaccine in Pitt County declines


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Pitt County’s health director said Wednesday he’s seeing a decrease in COVID-19 vaccine demand locally and in other counties across Eastern North Carolina.

Dr. John Silvernail said despite that news, we’re making progress in vaccinating the county.

“I think we are gaining on COVID. Good work Pitt County keep up the good work Pitt County,” said Silvernail.

It’s an encouraging message from Pitt County’s health director.

“Just shy of 25% have received one dose and are partially vaccinated and 20.8%, almost 21%, are fully vaccinated,” he said.

Silvernail said the county has administered more than 80,000 shots. He credits the mass vaccination site at the Greenville Convention Center and other partnering agencies for getting shots in arms.

“I think this was a wonderful community event that brought a lot of partners together and was able to distribute a huge number of vaccines,” said Silvernail.

However, he’s seeing a decline in demand.

“There were a number of folks that were very anxious to get that (vaccine),” Silvernail said. “We say in our 65 and older and our 75 and older age groups they were very anxious and very willing. The vaccine, as we’ve moved down the age ladder, we’re seeing some increasing resistance there.”

Silvernail said Pitt County will be vaccinating for months to come to people willing to receive the shot.

“As they get to know coworkers and family members who have had the vaccine and done well with the vaccine they become less hesitant and agree to accept the vaccine,” Silvernail said.

Silvernail encourages everyone to get vaccinated, stating it is better to get the shot than the virus.

“COVID doesn’t care,” Silvernail said. “COVID will punch you in the mouth if it gets a chance, so get a vaccine if you can.”

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