Mile-long traffic as Nash County residents wait for COVID-19 vaccine

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (WTVD) -- Cars lined up beginning early Thursday morning for a 1 p.m. drive-thru vaccination clinic for Nash County residents 75 years of age and older.

Stan and Barbara Bastian waited about five hours to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

"I think we have some hope now," Barbara Bastian said.

The Nash County Health Department administered about 1,000 doses at Nash Central High School on a first-come, first-serve basis.

"We have traffic going in one direction," said Nash County Health Director Bill Hill. "We have EMT, staff, and you can see those to my back here. We've got police, law enforcement, directing traffic."

The line of cars stretched at least a mile from the high school.

Gary and Beth Wingfield were prepared for the long wait, eating lunch in their car, and Beth Wingfield knitted.

"I want to hug my grandchildren some more," she said about one reason she was getting the vaccine.

The Nash County Sheriff's Office tweeted that there were more people on site than they had doses for.

Hill said they'll look into setting appointments at their next clinic so people don't have to wait so long.

"Folks that came today and were unable to get a shot and were turned away, I certainly hope by the first of next week -- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday -- sooner than later, we will have a makeup clinic and be able to get some more of those folks in," Hill said.

Those getting their vaccine Thursday got a card showing their appointment for their second dose in 21 days.

Doug Starr, 76, and Pamela Starr, 75, said they were hoping to visit a sick relative in New York once they're fully vaccinated.

"I trust the vaccine is effective and we'd be very fortunate to get it," Pamela Starr said as she waited in her car.

"They found this one in record time, so we thank God that we got these scientists at Pfizer, Moderna and many, many others," Doug Starr said.

Duke Health is now offering the vaccine to those 75 and older. You can sign up for a Duke MyChart account or call the hotline at (919) 385-0429 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. to make an appointment.

Orange County residents can set up a vaccine-interest form online and they'll get a link to register for an appointment or residents can call (919) 913-8088.

A Durham County spokesperson said they hope to move into Phase 1B in the next weeks but can't confirm a date for starting vaccinations in that phase yet.

A Wake County spokesperson said they have so many health care workers in Phase 1A they haven't moved to phase 1B yet since they're still getting through Phase 1A.
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