Appointments at Rowan County first-dose vaccination clinic aren’t filling up despite expanded eligibility

Officials hoping for higher demand at vaccine clinic in Rowan County

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - With COVID-19 vaccinations opening Wednesday for anyone in North Carolina aged 16 and over, many local health departments are expecting a strong turnout.

But in Rowan County, a local official said that appointments for Thursday’s first dose clinic aren’t being filled very quickly.

To use NASCAR terminology, drivers were down and away quickly after getting the second shot vaccine in Rowan County on Wednesday.

One of those taking the second shot on Wednesday was Alisha Byrd-Clark, the vice-chair of the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education.

“It’s personal for me, my daughter and Chasity decided to come together, my mom is before us, being on the school board…excited to get this done,” Byrd-Clark said.

While the Wednesday clinic went smoothly, there are questions about Thursday’s first dose clinic.

Officials say they are especially hopeful that younger folks will turn out.

Amy Smith, from the Rowan Health Department, says that’s where the community spread of COVID-19 is happening.

“We’re seeing a good amount of spread happening among teenagers and college students,” Smith said. “It would be a great time to call and we still have vaccination appointments available.”

With 1,100 available doses for tomorrow at the West End Plaza site, and more available at other locations like the Rowan Diagnostic Clinic, it would seem there’s enough vaccine to go around for anyone who wants it.

Health Department officials say they’re concerned that not enough people do want it.

“People are, I think, getting comfortable,” Smith said. “They’re not wearing their masks, they’re not practicing social distancing, people are wanting to get out. I think people just like COVID…they’re just tired of COVID, but we can’t do that.”

Appointments can be made by visiting our County’s First Dose Clinics webpage or calling the COVID hotline at 980-432-1800 and push 1, when prompted.

An increased call volume is expected so wait times may be much longer than normal.

Officials are urging residents to try to make appointments online to help reduce our call volume.

Citizens without access to computers or internet may wish to visit their nearest Rowan Public Library location to utilize the free public Wi-Fi and computers.

Emails cannot be accepted as a way to schedule an appointment, so staff will be unable to help you and will have to redirect to the webpage.

On Thursday, the county will be administering the Pfizer vaccine, which can be given to individuals 16 years and older.

In addition to this, it is with the utmost importance that you make sure recipients are also available to receive the second vaccination on Wednesday, April 28th, when a second-dose clinic will be held at the West End Plaza.

Residents can call 980-432-1800 or scan the QR code received with their first vaccination to schedule a time for the second appointment; residents will not receive a call from staff to schedule a time for a second appointment.

Anyone unable to keep your appointment should contact our Call Center staff at 980-432-1800 to cancel.

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