Onslow County unhappy with low vaccination ranking from state health officials

Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Onslow County officials are clarifying the state’s latest numbers from its COVID-19 dashboard.

Currently, state health officials have Onslow County ranked last out of the state’s 100 counties for vaccinations. Onslow County officials say the state’s dashboard is misleading and they don’t believe it paints a true picture of the county’s vaccination efforts.

Workers in Onslow County have administered more than 11,000 initial vaccine doses. Officials say that state’s ranking does not include vaccinations done by the military, which makes up a big part of the county’s population. If those numbers were counted, county leaders said Onslow would rank higher.

“I don’t think there’s anyone that’s going to be more disappointed (in the reported numbers) than me,” said Onslow County Health Director Krissy Richmond-Hoover.

Richmond-Hoover said she is looking for answers from the state on how it allocates vaccines. She said her workers follow the rules and use every drop shipped in because that determines how they get more.

“So at the end of the day I think we need to look at the state’s formula for how they are allocating vaccines to counties and ask why Onslow County is not receiving more inventory to be able to fulfill the need that is clearly here in Onslow County,” Richmond-Hoover said.

“Certainly seeing that we are consistenly using every bit of vaccine that we are receiving it puts us in a good spot to receive more and justifies the need.”

Onslow County’s COVID-19 numbers are down, and officials highlight the rate of tests coming back positive is lower currently than the state’s average. Unfortunately, five more deaths have been reported for a total of 125 in Onslow County overall.

Health officials ask people to continue to practice social distancing, wear a mask and wash your hands often.

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