‘It’s imperative that the state understand our situation and our needs’: Brunswick County Commission chair petitions state for more vaccines

Brunswick County Commission chair petitions state for more vaccines

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Across the state and country the demand for the coronavirus vaccine has vastly outpaced the supply.

But in Brunswick County, which has around 15,000 people eligible as part of Phase 1B and roughly a third of its population 65 and older, the demand is front-loaded based on the state’s prioritization schedule.

In a letter sent Friday to Governor Roy Cooper, Brunswick County Commission chair Randy Thompson requested more COVID-19 vaccine.

In his letter, Thompson acknowledged the limited supply of vaccines available and the state’s efforts to vaccinate the public as safely and efficiently as possible; however, he expressed concern about Brunswick County only receiving 100 doses for Phase 1b Group 1 in its initial allocation for the public on Dec. 6 — the appointments for the doses were booked in just 10 minutes, and the county received more than 6,000 phone calls about them.

“The letter was intended to get the awareness of the decision making group to say, hey, look, are we making the right judgment calls on distribution, or can it be modified, and if it can be modified, let’s modify it so that it impacts the the categories of the groupings that are definitely in need of the vaccine,” Thompson said in an interview Tuesday.

Thompson wrote in the letter that inadequate supplies could result in Brunswick County being left behind.

“...a slower vaccination of this critical phase in our county might set us back from moving forward into Phase 1b Group 2 in a timely manner consistent with the rest of the state.”

He said that Brunswick County had developed a vaccination plan in accordance with the NCDHHS guidelines and had acquired a transportable freezer trailer to accommodate vaccines like Pfizer’s that require ultra-cold storage — but the doses simply aren’t there.

“Our health officials have followed the state guidance and the state plan. We just need to make sure that we have the additional doses coming in,” he said. “It’s imperative that the state understand our situation and our needs.”

Click here to read the full letter.

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