Vaccine rollout expands in NC; new clinic comes to Robeson County Monday

State - Regional

LUMBERTON, N.C. (WBTW) — The vaccine rollout in North Carolina has taken another step forward.

The state gave providers the green light Thursday to start offering shots to those 65 and older and all health care workers.

The Robeson County Health Department and UNC Health Southeastern were both busy Friday with people wanting a vaccine.

“I’m feeling so excited,” Sherry Brewington said while in line at the health department. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long.”

Among those getting a shot at UNC Health Southeastern’s Elm Street clinic were Lumbee Tribe Chairman Harvey Godwin Jr. and First Lady Sheila Godwin.

“When your turn comes please take the vaccine to help us all be safe and put coronavirus behind us,” the chairman urged.

Chairman Godwin said the tribe has issued over 5,500 COVID tests and is working on plans for vaccinations.

“I think in the near future there’s going to be a collaboration and a way where the Lumbee Tribe will be able to have drive through vaccinations,” Chairman Godwin said.

UNC Health Southeastern plans to open another clinic in Pembroke Monday as it deals with high demand for the vaccine. The health system says it’s vaccinating record amounts.

“The supply initially, we had enough on hand,” hospital VP and COO Jason Cox said. “Now we’re worried the demand might exceed the supply of vaccines. We do know the state monitors our inventory to see where we’re at and how many doses we’ve dispensed until now and that will inform them on future doses and future allocations from  the state.”

Cox said Friday afternoon the hospital had so far dolled out 2,400 shots total. Once the Pembroke clinic opens up Monday, Robeson County will have three locations distributing vaccines. That means the county will be able to administer around 3,400 vaccines a week, according to Cox.

“We feel good about that capacity and that kind of access,” Cox said. “And if we have to ramp it up for higher numbers we certainly will. But right now, we think that’ll meet the demand for the phases we have in front of us.”

To learn more about getting a vaccine at the Robeson County Health Department, you can find information on the agency’s Facebook page.

Here’s info about getting one through a UNC Health Southeastern clinic:

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