Piedmont Triad clinics scale back requests for more COVID-19 vaccine as demand falls

Coronavirus

(WGHP) — North Carolina is joining a growing trend across the country—scaling back its request for more vaccines by 40% in the past week, according to the Associated Press. 

As the number of people wanting to get vaccinated seems to be on the decline, health departments are taking the show on the road. 

Everything from door knocks and on-the-spot vaccinations to hiring sign spinners, health officials are finding ways to get more people vaccinated in the Triad. 

In some ways, the drop in vaccine requests highlights North Carolina’s effort in getting people vaccinated quickly—because there are still other states who are asking for the same allotment as they were at the beginning of the vaccination campaign. 

“We’ve seen obviously appointments drop off. We’re doing about anywhere from 60 to 80 appointments a day, and, like I said, we get about 15 to 20 walk-ins,” said Alamance County Health Director Tony Lo Giudice. 

That’s in comparison to the roughly 2,000 people who were getting vaccinated at its peak at the Alamance County mass site. 

Lo Giudice said they haven’t asked for more vaccines from the state department in weeks. 

“We haven’t had to ask for vaccine in the past two weeks. So, we have about a little over 3,000 doses in supply for the Pfizer,” Lo Giudice said. “We’re moving from the mass vaccination phase to more of boots on the ground.” 

Starting this week, Alamance County is now turning its efforts to door knocks, offering people vaccines at the convenience of their homes, canvassing and hosting mobile sites. 

“We want to make this as easy as possible for folks, and that’s what we’re going to do,” Lo Giudice said. 

The last day at the site on Eric lane is May 26. 

Forsyth County has decided to end its mass site at the Winston-Salem fairgrounds May 24. 

“We haven’t asked for the vaccine in several weeks. We are still working through our supply of Pfizer doses,” said Forsyth County Health Director Joshua Swift.  

Both counties will instead operate out of their health departments Monday through Friday. 

Though roughly 50% of the state’s population is vaccinated, local health officials are thinking outside the box when it comes to reaching herd immunity. 

“We’re actually going to have sign spinners starting tomorrow over at Eric Lane, right on the corner to let people know, ‘Hey, walk-ins are available,’” Lo Giudice said. 

In Forsyth County, they’re taking vaccinations out to the ‘old ball game.’ 

“We’ll be going to some Winston-Salem Dash games a little bit later this month,” Swift said. “When you’re going to the game, get your vaccine, wait your 15 minutes. Because you’re going to be there more than 15 minutes at the game.” 

Over in Randolph County, first doses have dropped up to 95% compared to the first eight weeks of administering the vaccine. 

In a push to get more shots in arms, Guilford County is now offering group vaccinations. 

Local health officials said it’s now up the younger population to get vaccinated. 

If transportation is an issue, many counties work with the city to get transportation for people to and from vaccination sites. 

They are looking for ideas on how to get people vaccinated in Forsyth—Swift said to reach out to them on social media if you have ideas. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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