COVID-19 Vaccine Line Skipping Probable in NC, Health Official Says

COVID-19 Vaccine Line Skipping Probable in NC, Health Official Says

6:00am Feb 09, 2021
Patients await vaccinations at Forsyth County's mass immunization site at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Education Building. Photo courtesy of the Forsyth County Department of Public Health.

Forsyth County’s top health official says it’s possible that some people who received COVID-19 vaccinations in North Carolina skipped the priority line.

Under the state’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, only health care workers and those age 65 or older are currently eligible to be immunized. 

But those seeking a Forsyth County vaccine appointment are not required to provide identification or employment records in order to get a slot. 

“I think that you just have to realize that if we had to do that type of screening for every person it would lead to... it would just make it that much more time consuming to get that vaccine out there,” said Forsyth County Public Health Director Joshua Swift.

The county’s policy is in line with state guidance, which says individuals "can self-attest to the criteria (e.g., age, job role, health status, living situation) that they qualify for in eligible priority groups."

Swift says the county does have screeners who cancel appointments of those who do not meet requirements based on their answers to eligibility questions. 

“Could there have been someone who slipped in because of something they did? It could have been a mistake on our part. It could have been someone trying to skip the line. Yes, that could have happened and I’m sure it probably has in all counties,” said Swift. 

Two-thirds of those who have received vaccine first-doses in North Carolina were 65 or older. The state has not disclosed how many recipients were health care workers. 

For the most up-to-date information on the coronavirus in North Carolina, visit our Live Updates blog here. WFDD wants to hear your stories — connect with us and let us know what you’re experiencing.

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