Why Mecklenburg County lags behind others in COVID-19 vaccinations in N.C.

WBTV News Now: Why is Mecklenburg County far behind in COVID-19 vaccinations in NC?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Data by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services shows Mecklenburg County is lagging behind in getting COVID-19 vaccines out to people.

Our vaccine team took a look at the data and found Mecklenburg County has one of the lowest rates in the area despite having several mass vaccination clinics.

A fair comparison for Mecklenburg County is Wake County. Both counties have about the same amount people.

More people in the Carolinas primed to be vaccine eligible

But in Wake County several thousand more shots have gone into arms.

Mecklenburg County has a population of over 1.1 million people. Of that, 18 percent are partially vaccinated and 11.6 percent are fully vaccinated.

Wake County has a population of over 1.1 million, with about 1,000 more than Charlotte. Of that, 25.1 percent are partially vaccinated and 15.6 percentare fully vaccinated.

When you compare the two, there is a 7.1 percent difference in people who are partially vaccinated and there is 4 percent difference in people who are fully vaccinated.

Mecklenburg County’s Public Health Department says vaccination rates can vary based on a number of factors, even among counties of similar size.

  • Vaccine supply. “Especially early on has played a large role in our ability to vaccinate individuals. We continue to work with the State to advocate for increased vaccine for Mecklenburg County. As supply has increased, the state has increased our vaccine allocation.”
  • Proximity to South Carolina/out of County workers. “We are working to vaccinate County residents and individuals who work in Mecklenburg County as quickly and equitably as possible. However, we have a large number of individuals who work in Mecklenburg County but live in neighboring counties or another state. Once vaccinated, those individuals are counted according to their home address, not where they were vaccinated.”
  • Out of town/state individuals. “While we’ve had several large scale vaccination clinics, those have attracted individuals not just out of our County but also out of our state to get vaccinated. Those individuals are not included in our numbers either.”

The Mecklenburg County Public Health department says “the most important thing is that vaccine allocated to Mecklenburg County providers is being administered quickly and as equitably as possible with focus on Mecklenburg County residents. We have utilized all vaccine that has been allocated to us through the public clinic at Bojangles’ Coliseum, community clinics, provider allocations and as of today homebound vaccinations.”

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