NHC estimates 37,000 people 65 years and older now eligible after state updates vaccine guidance

NHC not ready to include 65+ age group in vaccine roll-out

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - With the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services revising its guidance on Thursday to include individuals 65 years and older in the current group to be vaccinated, New Hanover County officials estimate that this update will make 37,000 people eligible for the vaccine locally.

“New Hanover County will work to ensure that even more of our residents can receive a vaccine under this revised “Group 2” outlined by the state,” according to a news release from the county. “As the county receives additional shipments of the vaccine, Public Health will work with our local healthcare partners to share the vaccine and reach as many people as possible who are now eligible under the state’s updated guidance.”

On Wednesday, the county received a new shipment of 955 vaccine doses and within three hours, all appointments for the rest of this week were booked. Those vaccines went to those 75 years or older, which was in accordance to the state’s previous guidance.

“New Hanover County will ensure that our local vaccination plan reflects the state’s update to include this newly prioritized group in upcoming vaccine administration,” said Health and Human Services Director Donna Fayko.

“We will be utilizing all of the vaccine currently available to us by tomorrow, but upon receipt of our next first-dose vaccine shipment, we will be able to work with our healthcare partners and extend the vaccine’s availability to anyone 65 and older and all healthcare workers. As we update our plan to be in line with the state’s and work through our local vaccination process, we will share information with the community.”

A spokesperson for New Hanover Regional Medical Center said the hospital plans to align its vaccination efforts with the state’s announcement.

“NHRMC Physician Group has several previously scheduled clinic days next week that will serve existing patients age 75+. We anticipate an announcement next week with more details about who is eligible for future clinics,” the spokesperson stated.

NHRMC encourages patients who do not yet have an NHRMC MyChart account to register, as having a MyChart account will expedite scheduling once appointments are made available.

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