Macon County Public Health has expanded its schedule for COVID-19 vaccinations, but there are currently not enough doses to meet demand.
From Jan. 20 through Jan. 26, the health department administered about 1,490 first doses of the Moderna vaccine, according to public health director Kathy McGaha.
Vaccination clinics are now being held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, but the ability to provide vaccinations depends on the supply of doses.
“We are using all first doses of vaccine as we receive them,” McGaha said. “We are expecting a shipment of 200 vaccines for next week. We will not have enough vaccine to meet our goal.”
Due to vaccine allocations not meeting the current demand, MCPH has begun a waitlist system for individuals who register or need to schedule appointments.
Appointment slots will be established based on vaccine supply. As vaccine becomes available, individuals on the waitlist will be contacted with their appointment date and time.
Individuals who need to register or schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination should call 828-524-1500. The call center is operating Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Under the new federal guidelines issued on Jan. 14, vaccinations are currently available to people in Group 1, which includes health care workers and long-term care staff and residents; and Group 2, which includes adults age 65 or older, regardless of health status of living situation.
Next in line will be Group 3, which includes frontline essential workers, described as those who are in sectors essential to the functioning of society. Group 4 includes adults at high risk for exposure and increased risk of severe illness such as public safety and transportation officials. Group 5 will make vaccinations available to anyone who wants them.
Testing has also been expanded to five days a week. Individuals needing an appointment for COVID-19 testing should call 828-349-2517.
As of 4 p.m. on Jan. 25, the total number of COVID cases in Macon County stood at 2,543, with 533 active positive cases, 18 deaths and 1,992 patients recovered. A week earlier, on Jan. 19, there had been a total of 2,398 confirmed cases with 610 active.
As of 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 26, there are 137 lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 patients in the Mission Health system – 101 at Mission Hospital; nine at Angel Medical Center; four at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital; one at Highlands Cashiers Hospital; 11 at Mission Hospital McDowell and 11 at Transylvania Regional.