Guilford County staff has obviously been putting a great deal of time and effort into setting up a COVID-19 vaccination plan for county residents who are 75 and older, but they can’t change one simple fact.
There isn’t nearly enough vaccine for everyone who wants it. Starting on Friday, Jan. 8 at 8 a.m., those 75 and older began calling (336) 641-7944 to set up an appointment – but getting through was not – and will not be – easy since demand greatly outpaces supply.
That was the message from Guilford County Health Director Dr. Iulia Vann and Emergency Management Division Director Don Campbell at the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Thursday, Jan 7 meeting. There are over 40,000 people 75 or older in the county, and there are only 4,000 vaccine doses available for the week that starts on Monday, Jan. 11.
The county will have 13 phone lines taking calls to set up appointments and provide information about the vaccination program, but, before the calls began, nobody thought that would be nearly enough for the rush of calls expected Friday morning to set up appointments. It wasn’t and most callers could not get through to schedule a vaccination appointment.
Reports from other North Carolina counties who have also implemented similar programs show that callers may have 400 or 500 callers ahead of them – even more at certain times.
So, in Guilford too, it will be hard to get through for a long time.
“We do know that the population that wants a vaccine starting next week is greater than the doses that we have,” Campbell told the Board of Commissioners Thursday. Jan. 7. “There is no question about it. And we know that there will be more people who call tomorrow that will not be able to get a quick answer.”
The good news is that Guilford County expects to get in more doses of vaccine each week. Campbell said after the meeting that it was very difficult to guess how long it would be before vaccine supply caught up with demand.
There are currently two vaccines approved for use in the United States and the county will have some of each. The type of vaccine given to people will depend on what is available at that time.
So true. Started calling at 8 this morning and called all morning. Learned that the lines had crashed. Started again after lunch, receiving message that wait was over an hour. Finally got through, put on hold and after 45 minute wait spoke to live person and received appointments for Monday morning. YAY!
Thanks Scott. This is all true. Thirteen phone lines for 40,000 people = FUGGITABOUTIT. “YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS!”
Them moment my watch said 8AM, I punched in the phone number. Me or my wife dialed almost all day. I was connected @9:32, and punched two, and disconnected @9:48. Why was I waiting in line for 16 minutes, and then not? Similar drills @10:08-22, 10:51-11:18, 11:28-11:54. After that, it was call back in an hour. Four people we know had similar experiences.
I do not see a light at the end of the tunnel. The Gov and the Dems are gonna own this one. Meantime, we stay at home.
I couldn’t get an exact number, but it appears that there are less than 40,000 people over age 75 in Greensboro.
Thirteen phone lines for the population of Guilford County is absurd. Either put together a plan that will work or get out of the way and let some other group take over. This is unbelievable. Put the vaccine in the hands of local doctors who can offer the shot to their patients or to the pharmacies that are setup to do inoculations. The county health department is not capable of handling this type of situation. They do not have the staff or the facilities. Where are the county commissioners? The are supposed to run the county, then lets have some real leadership on such a critical issue. It has been apparent for months that distribution would be a challenge. Why have our leaders not been proactive in getting a plan in place before now? This is a great example of why governments does not need to be in charge of every aspect of our lives. The private sector is much better prepared to handle so many similar issues.
Bingo! You nailed it. Brings back the old saying . . .”Hello, I’m from the government and am here to help you”
I called the Guilford line to get a COVID shot at 8:00am and could not get through until 11.30 am. Finally at 11:30 my call was taken and I was put on hold until 1:05, at witch time I was disconnected. I never got through again all day. Our Government at work, they could not organize a one car parade.
Why in the state of NC are kids 16-22 in college ahead of adults who in the work force? I am 64 and my wife is almost 62, we are both healthy, yet have a 100 times more chance to be hospitalized from Covid contraction than a 20 year old student. Yet, these students have a higher place in the pecking order than we do. I certainly understand vaccinating anyone and everyone charged with responsibilities in the NC school systems. But this is a little ridiculous. I thought decisions in this state by the governor’s office were supposed to be based on science and chance of hospitalization when it came time to prioritize who would get the vaccine first?
Answer? They are more likely to vote for democrat controlled governments.
Why is anyone even the least bit surprised? This whole thing has been a political $#!T show from the very beginning. Yes, its real, yes its dangerous, but all the politicians only care about who looks good or bad as it all shakes out and each of us only have a value of 1 tally mark on the board up or down. It took over 23 years to develop the 1st effective Polio vaccine, we still don’t have a cure for cancer, yet they expect us to believe some miraculous science has developed a truly effective vaccine for this in a matter of months. Blame China, or whatever conspiracy makes you happy, but these viruses are of our own doing from the last 25 or so years of overusing antibiotics, antibacterial soaps & sanitizers and the like. When we were constantly exposed to whatever the bug of the day was in small doses we had better immune systems. Our bodies are designed to fight foreign germs. If our immune system doesn’t exercise, it gets weak just like any other part of our body. In summary we got here by believing what we were fed the past 25 years, do we just keep believing and expect it will all work out? The CIA has a saying that hardens back to the late 1960’s KITDFOHS. If you can’t translate it, look it up. That’s all of us today.
Agree with all the above comments. I’m only 69 and I figure it will be June before I’m able to get the vaccine. I have a couple of friends who are over 75 and they can’t get thru.
Of course the hours are limited I assume…..with no 24/7 coverage for times that most people are in bed sleeping and the call volume would be reduced resulting in shorter wait times perhaps…..just a thought. A call to any airline about how the staff their Call Centers might be enlightening to government Call Center Managers.
Just wonder if how they will assuew all the 75’s (who want it), get in line ahead of those in the next phase.
I think all of us age 75+ agree on this thing.
I have learned that the most pressing problem is the availability of the vaccine. I have read that we are expecting 600,000,000 vaccines avail in the U.S., in total, by December. Allowing two per person, that makes 300,000,000. Surely those 65+, and at high risk, would get theirs this quarter? Younger people can be carriers, but are at low risk to themselves.
There are five different manufacturers in the U.S. now.