President Joe Biden promises changes to vaccine distribution; NC needs more supply

President Biden's 5-point vaccine plan

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - As President Biden begins his administration, healthcare workers are looking to see how the national COVID-19 guidance and vaccine rollout will change.

President Biden is promising to vaccinate 100 million Americans in his first 100 days of office.

According to the CDC, a little more than two million people have been vaccinated so far.

More than 89,000 of them are here in the Carolinas, which is less than one percent of the population.

President Biden announced a five-part plan:

1- Opening eligibility to more people, including people 65 and older, which is being done in North Carolina

2- Creating more vaccination sites by working with FEMA to set up 100 federally supported centers by the end of February

3- Using pharmacies to administer the vaccine, currently being done in longterm care facilities

4- Using the Defense Production Act to increase manufacturing and supply

5- A public education campaign to address vaccine hesitancy

Novant Health’s Doctor David Priest said planning is tough because they are not finding out how many doses they will get until a few days before it arrives.

“They are confident the manufacturing is going to pick up and the distribution is going to pick up,” Priest said. “It’s a tough balance for an organization operationally to figure out. We want to get everyone vaccinated, we’re giving the small amount that we have as fast as we can. We don’t want to frustrate individuals who have made an appointment and then we don’t have a vaccine to give them. We also don’t want vaccine sitting on the shelf.”

President Biden is vowing to release nearly all of the federal supply as it comes available, and ensure hospitals know ahead of time when and how much supply they can expect.

Mecklenburg County announced they are soon expanding appointments to the age group 65 and up.

Starting Thursday at 8:30 am, people age 65 or older can log onto the Mecklenburg County Health Department website to sign up for an appointment.

They are opening about 1, 500 appointments each week for the first three weeks of February at Bojangles Coliseum.

Eligible individuals can click here to schedule an appointment online or call 980-314-9400 Option 3 to schedule an appointment for your first dose.

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