Fayetteville, N.C. — Cape Fear Valley Health is reporting a significant drop in the number of people scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments.
Weeks ago, it could be difficult to find a vaccine. Now, although vaccines are available to all adults in North Carolina, fewer people appear to be seeking shots.
Cape Fear Valley Health said Monday it has about 2,300 open spaces available for first-dose COVID-19 vaccine appointments. New appointment slots open each Friday at 5 p.m., and in past weeks, they filled up quickly, sometimes over the weekend, officials said. This week, only about 15 percent of the appointments were full.
Chris Tart, vice president of professional service at Cape Fear Valley Health, said vaccine supply has expanded in the last month, and more retail locations such as pharmacies and grocery stores are offering COVID-19 vaccines. People may be seeking options they see as convenient or waiting for the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is only offered at one Cape Fear Valley clinic.
“I think what we’re worried about is the vaccine supply is outpacing demand,” said Tart. “We need to encourage everyone to roll their sleeves up and be vaccinated so we can continue to put this pandemic behind us. Now that the weather has warmed up, people are out and about, which puts them at more risk. People feel like we’re through the crisis, but we’re not.”
Vaccines are also readily available in Fayetteville through the Cumberland County Department of Public Health, which hosts mass drive-thru clinics at the Crown Expo Center on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
First and second doses of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are available with an appointment, which can be made easily online.
“The Johnson and Johnson supply is sporadic, so we can’t plan it week to week like we can with Moderna and Pfizer,” Tart said. “We do hope that people step up to take whatever vaccine they’re most comfortable with, but relying on the availability at walk-in clinics cannot be the answer for everyone who still needs a vaccine.”
Cape Fear Valley Health clinics this week
Cape Fear Valley Health is holding two walk-in clinics for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the Cape Fear Valley Rehabilitation Center Auditorium at 1638 Owen Drive in Fayetteville on Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are a total of 2,400 doses available, with 1,200 doses available each day.
Visit WRAL’s list of all vaccine options available in the viewing area.