By Anna Phillips | January 14, 2021 at 6:26 PM EST – Updated January 14 at 7:22 PM
KENANSVILLE, N.C. (WECT) – It was a historic day in Duplin County where the health department hosted its first mass vaccine drive-thru clinic at the Duplin Events Center in Kenansville.
800 Moderna vaccines were administered to people 75 years of age or older.
Vaccines were also available for frontline healthcare workers, however many of those have already received their vaccines.
“We are transitioning in public health from the testing model to the vaccinations. This is what public health is known for. That’s immunizations. So we’re here and we plan to do more of these events because we are able to bring in quite a few community resources,” said Duplin County Health Director Tracey Simmons-Kornegay. “Our goal is to vaccinate as many individuals that want to receive the vaccine.”
The clinic began at 9 a.m. but many people were in line hours earlier and traffic backed up for over one mile and stayed that way through midday.
“I’ve been sitting for a while but it’s worth waiting for,” one lady told us as she waited for her injection.
John McCoy and his wife, Loretha, said it went well as they waited the required 15 minutes after receiving their shot to be sure they experienced no adverse reactions.
“I’ll be glad when we get the next shot and get that out of the way too,” John said.
Loretha was nervous to receive the vaccine at first.
“I was at one time but the more they talked about it on t.v. and listening to others who had gotten it, I was ready to get mine,” she said.
Duplin County receives weekly updates on how many vaccinations they’ll receive for the following week.
“So on Friday I will learn how many doses I will get the next week,” said Simmons-Kornegay.
Future vaccination events are being planned, however it will be based on what the supply is like.
Simmons-Kornegay says her priority will remain getting those 75-and-older vaccinated before moving on to vaccinating those in the 65+ age range.
“We are taking the lessons learned from our testing events since May to make this work today and then we will have a hot wash tomorrow to figure out what things we may need to change for the next one in a couple of weeks,” she said.
For so many people, it’s life’s simple pleasures they most look forward to when this is said and done.
“Well it’ll be so you can hug somebody again,” said Charles Atkinson.
“Being able to get back to the malls, being able to socialize more with my friends and just going different places and not being afraid to go,” said Loretha McCoy.
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