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Health Department receives more than 2,300 Pfizer doses

For the first time, the allotment of vaccine doses that arrived in Stanly County this week came exclusively from Pfizer.

The county health department received 1,170 first and second doses for a total of 2,340. That’s almost 400 more doses than what the county received during each of the past three weeks.

The department usually gets only the Moderna vaccine, though for the last three weeks it has been receiving first doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

As of Thursday, the department has administered more than 12,200 first doses and 7,600 second doses. Almost 24 percent of Stanly residents are partially vaccinated (14,752) while 17 percent of residents are fully vaccinated (10,753), according to state data.

Across the state, 45 percent of people 18 and older are partially vaccinated while almost 33 percent are fully vaccinated.

Although the department has not administered any of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Health Director David Jenkins thinks the announcement this week that federal health authorities are pausing the vaccine’s use as they examine a rare blood-clotting disorder that emerged in six recipients will cause an increase in vaccine hesitancy.

Even with anyone 16 and older in the state now eligible to get vaccinated, Jenkins said there’s been a decrease in demand for the vaccines, and he’s not sure why.

“It is becoming increasingly difficult to fill appointments and utilize our inventory of vaccines.”

And if vaccine providers, like the health department, don’t use up all of their weekly vaccines, it can negatively impact how many doses they will be allotted in the future.

For people who need to get vaccinated, Jenkins said there’s still plenty of available vaccines and appointment slots. The vaccine hotline to call and schedule an appointment is 980-323-0205.

For alternative providers, people can look for a vaccine appointment online by visiting either Walgreens (www.walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid-19) or CVS (cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine) and checking for availability in their area.

The Pfizer vaccine is available to 16- and 17-year-olds while Moderna is for people 18 and older.

The health department typically administers second doses on Mondays and Tuesdays and first doses on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

With 19 new cases reported on Thursday, the county now has a cumulative total of 7,495 cases since last March. About 14 percent of the total cases, 943, have come from long-term care facilities, according to data from the health department.

Ten people are hospitalized while 136 people have died from the virus.

Stanly’s rolling seven-day average positivity rate, as of Thursday afternoon, is 7.6 percent, per the state Health and Human Services Department, higher than the state’s overall rate of 5.1 percent.

Statewide, there have been more than 11.8 million tests conducted resulting in at least 941,218 cases. A total of 1,020 people were reported hospitalized Wednesday, and 12,359 people have died.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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