A month ago WSOC reporter and vaccine hunter Joe Bruno likened finding an open vaccine appointment to a challenge on the Amazing Race. Thankfully, it’s much easier than that these days, and in some instances appointments aren’t necessary.
What’s happening: Walk-in vaccine appointments are becoming more common in Mecklenburg County. Healthcare providers’ ability to offer walk-in vaccines is a great sign that supply is catching up to demand.
- StarMed Healthcare continues to offer walk-in appointments at some locations. Follow them on Twitter for updates.
- The Mecklenburg County Health Department has also started offering some walk-in appointments. Get updates on Twitter.
- NoDa Brewing held a walk-in vaccine clinic last week with 200 Pfizer doses.
The number of vaccine doses administered by North Carolina providers has been steadily increasing since the vaccine rollout began in mid-December. That increase in distribution also points to an increase in supply.
Yes, but: Most healthcare providers are still requiring appointments. The good news is there are more of them to go around. Appointments are available at a number of local pharmacies/providers:
- Mecklenburg County Health Department
- Novant Health
- Atrium Health
- StarMed Healthcare
- Harris Teeter
- Publix (Starting on April 23 in NC)
Why it matters: Access to vaccines is critically important in order to stop the spread of coronavirus. And they’re more easily accessible now that finding an open appointment doesn’t require people to scour the internet at odd hours or wait around for waste doses.
Note: The pause on Johnson & Johnson vaccines has impacted large-scale vaccination events that rely on the single-dose shot. The Camp North End vaccination event held over the weekend was originally going to use J&J vaccines, but switched to Pfizer. Now attendees will need to schedule a second dose appointment.
Charlotte’s largest healthcare providers, Atrium and Novant, say the pause won’t have a great impact on their distribution. [Go deeper]
By the numbers: North Carolina’s vaccine distribution has been slower than other states/territories, according to reporting by the New York Times. Their rankings show North Carolina falls at number 41 in vaccine distribution out of 59 states and territories.
Of North Carolinians 18 and older, 46% have been vaccinated with at least one dose, and 33% are fully vaccinated.
Mecklenburg County is behind other large counties in North Carolina in vaccine distribution. One of the reasons for this is that lots of non-residents are vaccinated here because they live close by or work here, but they aren’t included in the county’s vaccine data. [Go deeper]
26% of county residents have gotten at least one dose and 18% of residents are fully vaccinated.