It's OK to seek a COVID-19 vaccine in another county, NCDHHS Secretary says

To sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine, try your local health department first.

If that's too difficult, North Carolina Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said it is OK to try another county.

"Counties can and should and must be serving all jurisdictions," Cohen said. "We take in this federal asset -- vaccines are paid for by federal government -- they sign an agreement to make sure they are serving people beyond their county."

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The number of people traveling out-of-town to get a shot is not being tracked at the local level.

"For example, we might have someone who lives in another place but works in Lenoir County," said Pamela Brown, director of health for Lenoir County, about 90 minutes south of Raleigh. "The point is to do as many folks as you can in a short amount of time."

The protocol for vaccination varies from place to place.

"It doesn't necessarily mean you're going to get something faster," Brown warned.

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For instance, some health departments such as Person, Granville, Vance, and Franklin counties request that you register ahead of time, so an appointment can be scheduled.

But in Johnston County, no appointment is required for Friday's vaccine clinic at Johnston Community College.

The event starts at 10 a.m. But workers are advising people to arrive three hours early.

Johnston County said it has more than 500 doses for the event.

However, only people older than 65 and healthcare workers are eligible.
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