More than 100,000 residents throughout the Triangle are still waiting to be vaccinated at public centers, roughly a month and half after North Carolina made the COVID-19 vaccine available.
Mandy Cohen, secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, said at a press conference Tuesday that President Joe Biden's administration approved a five-percent increase in vaccine doses to the state. She said it is undetermined how many additional doses that would add up to.
“We know that there’s still not enough vaccine supply to vaccinate the millions of people who need it — not by a long shot,” Gov. Roy Cooper said during the conference. “We’re pushing for more.”
Ever since vaccines became available to states, supply has been a concern. Medical professionals and N.C. residents hope a boost in vaccine doses will help ease their counties' waitlists.
Wake County has logged 78,862 individuals on its waitlist as of Wednesday afternoon, the highest among Triangle counties. The county is also the largest in the Triangle, with about 1.1 million people living there, according to the U.S. Census.
Stacy Beard, external communications manager for Wake County, welcomed the news about the increase in vaccine supply in an email.
“We hope it will mean increased allotments to Wake Public Health,” Beard wrote.
Beard said the large waitlist can be attributed to the number of vaccines North Carolina has allocated to counties. So far, Wake County has received 18,350 vaccines from the state and has 6,337 vaccination appointments scheduled for this week.