Beaufort County Health Department low on COVID vaccines, director asks people to schedule appointments

Washington

WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) — COVID-19 vaccines are already hard to come by due to the increased demand for them. That’s particularly true in Beaufort County.

“We’re only receiving a couple hundred per week so it’s not like we can really do everybody that wants the vaccine that quickly,” Beaufort County Health Director James Madson said.

Madson said his workers are administering shots as soon as they get the doses.

“I have 200 doses and we’re doing 100 of them today and 100 of them tomorrow and then that will put us down to zero and hopefully we’ll receive some more,” he said.

The health department got so many calls requesting vaccines, it’s now directing them to a call center to make appointments.

“We created the appointment method to at least ensure that if you’re there you’re going to get the vaccine,” said Madson.

Beaufort County’s vaccine appointments are booked through Jan. 23. Madson knows people are frustrated with the scheduling process.

“A lot of the telephone call centers are overwhelmed, so they can’t get the answers a lot of times because there are so many people and we spend all day long just trying to return phone calls and address those phone calls,” Madson said.

Beaufort County is currently vaccinating people 75 and older. Madson is asking for one thing from everyone calling.

“I really ask that everyone be patient because this has been going on for a while, and I know everyone wants it to be over with, but at the pace we’re seeing the vaccine, it’s going to take a long time to get enough for everybody,” Madson said.

Beaufort County health officials are following the state’s vaccine distribution plan. They said they hope to receive more doses soon.

To schedule an appointment and more information, click here.

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