Appointments now required at Wake County COVID-19 vaccine sites
Starting Monday, Wake County will add staff and expand hours at their five permanent vaccine locations. They will also temporarily stop walk-in vaccinations.Posted — Updated
"Rates have been increasing with this recent surge," said Stacy Beard, the spokeswoman for Wake County. "We trust they will weigh the science and the data."
Starting Monday, she says, they will be able to give out over 1,000 more vaccines than previously.
The new hours are:
Monday–Friday from 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
Monday & Friday from 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m., Tuesday & Thursday from 11:45–7:15 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Tuesday & Thursday from 11:45–7:15 p.m., Wednesday & Friday from 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Beard says this will help better organize those coming in for first and second shots – and those who may be cleared to get a booster dose.
"Reserving spots to make sure everybody is served, the best way to do that is appointments," she said.
Dr. Cameron Wolfe, an infectious disease expert with Duke Health, believes that the recommendation is a positive development, but notes that many people in the country still haven't gotten their first shot.
"I think they've actually threaded a very important needle to be honest, and I reckon this is a good outcome," Wolfe said. "Go and get your first dose if you haven't already. Geez, we're talking about a booster. There's 40 percent of people who haven't gotten their first dose."
Wolfe feels more data is needed for the lower-risk and younger populations to recommend a booster.
Wake County officials stress the debate over boosters is not about whether the vaccines work. They say vaccines are very effective at protecting people from severe COVID illness and death.
"We just want the community to know we are prepared – whatever comes," she said.
While appointments will be required at the permanent sites, the county will still provide at pop-up community vaccination clinics.
As for that FDA committee - they want to vote again - but only on a booster recommendation for older adults.
"I think it's going to be very important for the government, based on today's action to make sure we're keeping those strong efforts up so that everyone who is interested in getting a vaccine can get accurate information about it and get a vaccine easily," said Dr. Mark McClellan, Director for the Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy.
Copyright 2023 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.