Some calling Orange County NC for COVID-19 vaccine thinking it’s in California or Florida

Offbeat and Unique

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) – COVID-19 vaccines are in high demand all over the country and that’s why some people in Orange County, New York, Virginia, Indiana, California, and Florida ended up on a vaccine waitlist in North Carolina.

“We had about 26,000 on the list at one point and now we’re down to less than 18,000,” said Todd McGee, Orange County community relations director. “That’s because a lot of people opted out when they realized we were Orange County, North Carolina and not Orange County, California.”

Turns out this is a common problem in Orange County, since there are so many Orange counties in the country.

A spokesperson for the county said a lot of instances occurred when people signed up online, but there were some who called into the appointment line.

“The operator would let them know, hey you are calling Orange County, North Carolina, are you sure you want to be on our list? Then, at that point they say I am sorry I thought I was calling Los Angeles, Orange County, California,” McGee explained.

To be clear, you can live outside of Orange County, North Carolina and sign up for the vaccine, but the person signing up must meet the eligibility requirements for Groups 1 and 2.

“If your name is not on the list when you show up to our vaccination clinic sites you will not be able to get a shot,”said McGee.

McGee said they only schedule appointments for the doses they have.

“We have a short waiting list at each site so that if we have some no-shows we will start contacting the people from the waiting list to get their shots if they are able to get down there.”

If they can’t get anyone off the waitlist, McGee said they vaccinate staff members who are involved with the clinic as they are also eligible in Group 1.

So far, they have not had to discard any doses.

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