GREENSBORO, N.C. — Cone Health is rescheduling 10,400 vaccination appointments, according to a statement released by Cone Health on Friday.
The full statement is provided below:
“Cone Health will reschedule COVID-19 vaccinations for 10,400 people after the state unexpectedly said it will not supply first-dose vaccine next week to Cone Health. People with appointments through Monday, Jan. 25, will receive their vaccinations as planned. These are vaccinations scheduled to be given by Cone Health at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center.
Those whose vaccination appointments are rescheduled will be placed at the top of the Cone Health vaccination waiting list and notified when their appointments can be fulfilled. ‘We are deeply disappointed that we are forced to delay these essential vaccinations,’ says Cone Health CEO Terry Akin. ‘In order to maintain an aggressive vaccination strategy, we need predictability and regular vaccine shipments from the state as originally promised. I am very unhappy that the state appears to keep changing the rules for vaccination allocation.’
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services called for all first-dose vaccines to be given by Jan. 25. Cone Health is on track to do exactly that through its major ramp up efforts, including at the Greensboro Coliseum, mobile vaccinations and in partnership with numerous churches and other community-based organizations across our multiple county area. The state assured Cone Health and other health systems that if the Jan. 25 goal was met, future vaccine shipments would be adequate to cover the following week’s scheduled appointments. “Completely contrary to the state’s prior commitment, we were shocked to find out late last night that Cone Health’s allocation for next week is zero”, says Akin.
People with appointments to receive a second dose will receive the vaccine as planned.
As a result of the undependability of the vaccine pipeline from the state, Cone Health will no longer schedule vaccinations until vaccine is on hand. Regrettably, until further notice, this will cause uncertainty and longer waits for vaccination appointments. We deeply apologize to our communities for this development.
Cone Health will keep the community informed of further developments.”
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released the following statement in response to FOX8’s request for a comment:
“Thanks for reaching out. Our local partners have been working tirelessly to ramp up and vaccinate people as quickly as possible under difficult circumstances. This week, in response to indications that the federal government might base future allocations on the supply states have on hand, our state and providers worked to rapidly administer vaccinations and exhaust North Carolina’s current supply.
- First, we worked to facilitate large-scale vaccination events, including two huge events at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Panthers Stadium
- Second, we worked with many providers to stand up special events and push to use up every first-dose vaccine they have.
- Third, we asked local providers to aggressively schedule appointments.
Our partners stepped up. Hospitals, local health departments and other vaccine providers have been working as one team – Team Vaccine – on this shared goal. For the coming vaccine week beginning 1/27 we only have a 120,000 dose allocation to administer. A large portion of those doses are committed to the large-scale events planned to address the backlog. As a result, many providers are getting small allocations or zero allocations for the week of 1/27. We know this is causing pain among providers who did an incredible job working to vaccinate residents quickly.
As long as we are getting such a small amount of vaccine as a state, there are going to be challenges and shortages as we try to ensure equitable access to vaccine, while getting shots into arms quickly. We understand this is hard for providers who are doing everything right.
We will make every effort to bring additional supplies into the state and appreciate the effort of providers to exhaust each week’s shipment quickly until supplies increase.”