Greensboro and Guilford County leaders presented their concerns at a press conference Monday over delays in COVID-19 vaccine shipments.
They described it as a trickle-down effect: federal officials who thought they had more vaccine than they actually did; state leaders allocating resources to other regions of North Carolina; and Guilford County at the mercy of decision-makers.
After Cone Health was forced to reschedule more than 10,000 vaccination appointments due to a lack of doses provided by the state, city officials are making the case for the Greensboro Coliseum to be designated a mega-site: centrally located, off an interstate with ample parking, multiple convention-size meeting rooms, and drive-through or clinic style immunization capabilities.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan says they need predictable and regular vaccine shipments to give residents the peace of mind to know their appointments will be honored.
“People were really happy to be able to get this vaccine and they saw it as the way forward,” says Vaughan. “In the conversations I had with people over the weekend, they were absolutely heartbroken. We have had students who have not been in the classroom since March, businesses that are really suffering, [and] people that are not able to pay their bills.”
No promises from government health officials have been made yet with regard to additional vaccine shipments. Guilford County Board Chairman Skip Alston says officials at Cone Health and the county health department are currently expecting the arrival of 500 new doses this week with hopes of receiving many more the following. Cone Health currently has approximately 30,000 people on its waiting list.
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