Long lines prompt Harnett hospital to open vaccine clinic early
Posted January 19, 2021 7:21 a.m. EST
Updated January 20, 2021 2:01 p.m. EST
Lillington, N.C. — Lines wrapped around Central Harnett Hospital on Tuesday several hours before a COVID-19 vaccine clinic opened for seniors 65 and older and healthcare workers.
Coronavirus vaccinations in NC
A dozen people were out of their cars and waiting outside in 30-degree weather by 6 a.m., four hours before the clinic opened. At 8:30 a.m., when more than 100 people were in line, officials made the call to open the clinic one hour early, at 9 a.m.
The clinic will run until 2 p.m. but could run out of vaccines before that. Another event will be held on Friday.
One man told WRAL News he got in line to receive his first dose of the vaccine because he wants things to get back to normal.
“We would love it," Phil Harris said. "We are retired and like to travel and go out to eat and stuff and haven’t done anything since March of last year.”
Unlike clinics underway in Durham, appointments are not required for those getting a shot through Harnett Health.
Hospital officials said they will likely have a different location and process for the clinic next week so people don’t have to stand out in the cold.
"We are prioritizing our healthcare workers, so we are trying to get them in and out as safely as possible," said Kelly Honeycutt, Harnett's Health Director of Administrative Operations. "Bear with us and be patient. We are really trying our best to get as many people in our community vaccinated."
In Wake County, a phoneline opens Tuesday so seniors can join a waitlist to get the COVID-19 vaccine. People will be prioritized, based on age and health conditions, and called once an appointment is available.
Every county in North Carolina is handling vaccine distribution differently. Find a list here.