GREENSBORO, N.C. — Monday is the last day that people counting on Cone Health will be able to get the coronavirus vaccine at the Greensboro Coliseum for a while.
The hospital was forced to cancel weeks’ worth of appointments because of vanishing vaccines. Hospital leaders are waiting for a new shipment of doses from the state so they can start scheduling again.
“You feel helpless,” said Treva Brackett, whose vaccine appointment was canceled via e-mail on Friday. “You feel like you can’t understand where the disconnect happened.”
A disconnect between the federal government and state government is leaving health departments and hospitals waiting for doses of vaccine. The lack of fresh supplies left 10,400 people signed up for the shots through Cone Health having their appointments canceled.
“It’s causing a lot of distress in the community at least with the folks who were eligible for getting their vaccines right now,” Brackett said. “So it’s going to push everyone behind and I know we’re depending on these vaccines to get the economy running again, get the kids back in school.”
Brackett was counting on getting a vaccine late next month.
“I was looking forward to getting together with my friends and doing things and traveling,” she said. “That’s the biggest disappointment for me.”
Cone Health booked appointments for people based on shipments they’ve been receiving to ramp up the vaccination process. Since the hospital is not getting an anticipated allotment this week from the state, it’s leaving Rosalyn Marhatta to wait in her home until her appointment is rescheduled.
“I really have hardly been out of the house,” said Marhatta. “It’s been like 10 months. I really want a haircut.”
N.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen said the state is relying on the federal government for more doses to keep up with demand.
“We have limited supply and it’s going to take some time for us to get that vaccine to everyone who wants it,” she said.
With the current limits, Cohen wants hospitals and health departments to use up every dose they get.
“Our goal is to make sure we are using up all the vaccine that is coming to our state before the next shipment comes,” she said.
Cone Health executives are deeply disappointed to delay the vaccinations.
“In order to maintain an aggressive vaccination strategy, we need predictability and regular vaccine shipments from the state as originally promised,” said Terry Akin, the CEO of Cone Health. “I am very unhappy that the state appears to keep changing the rules for vaccination allocation.”
“I wasn’t even sure how I was going to get the vaccine after it was canceled,” Marhatta said.
Until a new allotment of vaccine doses is shipped. both Marhatta and Brackett are on a priority waitlist. Brackett told FOX8 she’ll be ready the moment that she’s notified it’s her turn.
“I will take whatever slot they give me to get in and get my first dose done and then get the second dose,” Brackett said.
People with an appointment to get vaccinated at the Greensboro Coliseum on Monday will still be able to get a shot. People with appointments to receive a second dose will receive it as planned. FOX8 will keep you updated on when Cone Health gets a new supply off vaccines.