NC has hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 vaccine doses in freezers, state info indicates

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The state said it has reached a milestone with 95% of all first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine they received having been administered.

But according to its own data, hundreds of thousands of doses have still not been used. Most of it is attributed to second doses and those that are intended for long term care programs. 

“Ninety-five percent of all first doses of COVID vaccine have been administered,” said Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

“An incredible achievement that demonstrates to the federal government that North Carolina is ready to take on more vaccine. And we need those additional vaccines now,” Cohen said.

When you do the math, it adds up. The state hasn’t administered 300,000+ first and second doses.

And, 200,00 doses still haven’t been given out to long-term care programs. That accounts for nearly 540,000 doses.

To be clear, the federal government is in charge of vaccinating those long-term care programs. They’re working with CVS and Walgreens to do it. 

“We’re very hopeful that the improved communication will allow our members to distribute the vaccine as quickly and effectively as possible,” said Katye Griffin, the executive director of the North Carolina Association of Health Directors. 

The group is critical of Cohen’s decision to prioritize two mass vaccination events at the expense of local health departments.

CBS 17 reached out to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, hoping to get more information behind the doses that have not yet been administered. We’ll provide an update when we do. 

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