Hospitals, health departments say they got fewer COVID-19 vaccine doses than requested this week

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Monday, January 25, 2021
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Multiple hospitals and health departments in central North Carolina reported receiving fewer COVID-19 vaccine doses Monday than requested.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Multiple hospitals and health departments in central North Carolina reported receiving fewer COVID-19 vaccine doses Monday than requested.

UNC Health said it will only receive 10,000 doses this week. That comes after the group said it requested 20,000 doses and has the capacity to administer up to 30,000 doses weekly.

Wake County Health Department reports it will receive less than 1,000 new doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this week.

The department said it requested 3,000 doses, but instead only received one case of the Pfizer vaccine (975 doses).

SEE ALSO: NC healthcare group sends Gov. Cooper 7 specific changes to improve vaccine rollout

Cape Fear Valley Health did not release the number of doses it received, but it did say it would no longer be able to accept walk-ins at its vaccination clinics due to "a change in the number of COVID-19 vaccines" the health system received for the week.

Halifax County also did not specify the number of vaccines it requested or received. However, the department did blame "the limited allowance of vaccinations from the state" when it announced it would only open its vaccination clinic Wednesday this week.

Duke Health said it has not received its allocation for this week, yet.

"Our allocations through January have been better than what we expected, but with Duke Health's continued expansion of vaccine access, the supply available to us is not enough to support all of the vaccination clinics and appointments we could operate," Duke University Hospital President Dr. Thomas Owens said in a statement. "This is consistent with the national situation with vaccine allocations, which are insufficient to meet demand. At this point, Duke Health has built operational capacity to vaccinate 30,000 people per week and we could quickly expand to more than 50,000 people a week if vaccine were available. We continue to work with the NCDHHS and local partners such as county health departments to ensure all available doses are positioned to be used in the communities we serve."

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services allocates the number of vaccine doses every group gets each week.

Health Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen previously said the agency evaluates many different factors to determine the best allocation of the limited supply of vaccines the state receives each week from the federal government.

ABC11 requested a statement on Monday regarding the allocations.

An NCDHHS spokesperson responded with the following:

Our local partners have been working tirelessly to ramp up and vaccinate people as quickly as possible under difficult circumstances. As of Sunday evening, 88% of all first doses have been reported as being administered. Providers reported administering more than 260,000 doses this past week.

As of this morning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked North Carolina 10th in total vaccines administered and 29th in vaccines administered per 100,000 people. These numbers were achieved by three actions the state took, including facilitating large-scale vaccination events, asking providers to aggressively ramp up their vaccine throughput this past week with any needed support from the state and working with many providers to stand up special events reaching underserved communities.

UNC Health said the lower allocations for this week would not result in any canceled appointments, but it would results in fewer appointments scheduled.

"We understand the frustration and disappointment of not being able to get an appointment for a vaccination more quickly," said Dr. Ian Buchanan, UNC Health President of Ambulatory and Post-Acute Care. "This is truly an issue of supply and demand. We are very aware of the angst this is causing everyone who is eligible now to receive a vaccine and cannot get an appointment or who spends hours online trying to get one."

On Jan. 26, the Cumberland County Department of Public Health said it will only be giving second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine during a drive-thru clinic from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

"Because of the limited supply of first doses and already scheduled first-dose appointments for the week, there will be reduced first-come, first-served opportunities on Wednesday and Friday," the department said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Chris DeRienzo, WakeMed System Chief Medical Officer released the following statement to ABC11 regarding its handling of vaccine allotments:

"As we've done since the beginning, WakeMed and our community partners continually adjust our operations to align with the amount of vaccine we are allocated each week. The overwhelming interest in this vaccine throughout our community is incredible. That's why efficiency and effectiveness are paramount to statewide efforts to ensure equity in access and meet the demand. True to our mission of caring for all, WakeMed looks forward to the day there is more than enough vaccine available in North Carolina for all who want it. Until then, we and our partners will continue to flex our operations up and down to deliver and administer the supplies we receive as quickly as possible."