Although coronavirus vaccine distribution has accelerated locally, North Carolina lags behind other states when it comes to the pace of vaccine distribution.
What’s new: Just over 137,000 people in North Carolina have received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, which is just over 1.3% of the population, according to CDC data. Nationally, 5.3 million people, or about 1.7% of the population, have gotten the first dose, Bloomberg data show. [Go deeper]
- The numbers are higher in nearby states. In Tennessee, more than 2.4% of the population has gotten the first dose; in Kentucky, it’s 1.5% .
Between the lines: A lack of resources and poor timing are among the reasons state officials give for the slowed the pace of the coronavirus vaccine.
- N.C. DHHS secretary Mandy Cohen said during a briefing Wednesday that vaccine administers across the state need all kinds of help, from data entry to IT support to answering phones.
State of play: Vaccine distribution just started here two weeks ago, Cohen said, and administrators are “hitting their stride now and figuring out their operations.”
- Governor Cooper mobilized the N.C. National Guard this week to help speed up the state’s vaccine distribution, the Raleigh News & Observer reported. State officials have said the National Guard can help with anything from logistics to administrative support.
Flashback: North Carolina started administering coronavirus vaccines to health care workers and long-term care residents and staff on December 15, and adults 75+ on January 6.
- Amid delays, the state announced an update to its rollout timing last week.