UNC Health does not expect to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine until Tuesday.
Thousands of doses of the newly authorized vaccine began shipping out across the country Monday.
However, UNC Health tells ABC11 its main campus is not expecting to receive any doses until Tuesday. Other campuses in the system expect to receive shipments later in the week.
UNC Health statement:
“UNC Health officials were notified by NC DHHS late Sunday that UNC Medical Center is expected to receive vaccines on Tuesday. Other hospitals in our system, including UNC REX, are expected to get vaccines later in the week. We continue to work on preparations so that we can begin inoculating our frontline staff as soon as possible once the vaccines arrive.”
MONDAY MORNING STORYLINES
The first batch of COVID-19 vaccines is expected to arrive Monday in a hopeful update in the fight against the virus. Many doses of the vaccine will ship out from a Pfizer plant in Michigan.
In the first round of shipments, 145 locations in 50 states will receive thousands of doses of the vaccine. Throughout North Carolina, hospitals are set to get 85,000 doses. UNC REX and Duke Hospitals expect to get 2,925 doses each in their first shipments with WakeMed expecting 3,900 doses between its Raleigh and Cary campuses.
Frontline healthcare workers could start getting their shots as early as today. Families and the general public aren’t expected to get vaccinated until early 2021.
The Wake County Public School System will meet on Monday at 3 p.m. to consider returning exclusively to virtual learning.
The state reported more than 6,800 new COVID-19 cases Monday, the second-highest total of the pandemic.
Free drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites are opening this week at Green Road Park, Barwell Road Park and Lions Park in Raleigh.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield has accepted an advisory committee’s recommendation that the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine may be given to people ages 16 and older, meaning that shots of the vaccine can now be administered in the United States.
North Carolina health officials are reporting 6,819 more COVID-19 cases, bringing the to-date total to 436,595. This is the second-highest single-day case increase since 7,540 on Friday.
Throughout the state, 27 more people have died from the virus, bringing the total to 5,823.
With 95 percent of hospitals reporting, 2,520 people remain hospitalized for COVID-19. That is down 57 in the first decrease the state has seen since late November. However, hospitalizations numbers remain among the highest they have been during the pandemic.
The daily percent positive rate of tests is currently 11.6%, down slightly from Saturday’s 11.7%.
Nearly 6 million tests have been completed throughout the state since March.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, there have been more than 16 million COVID-19 cases in the United States since March.
Millions of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine are being loaded into containers at drug maker Pfizer’s Michigan loading facility.
North Carolina hospitals will get 85,800 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the first week.
“Fingers crossed, we get it shipped and we can start rolling it out,” said Dr. Linda Butler, UNC REX Healthcare Chief Medical Officer.
UNC REX Healthcare in Raleigh is expecting to get 2,925 doses on Monday, with vaccinations starting as soon as Tuesday.
Dr. Butler said frontline workers treating COVID-19 patients and healthcare workers in areas at high risk of exposure will get the vaccine first.
“It’s not going to keep them from getting tired,” Dr. Butler said. “It’s not going to keep patients from coming into our beds but at least it’ll protect them from getting sick.”
Combined, UNC Health locations will get more than 14,000 doses of the vaccine in the first week.
Duke University Hospital is expecting 2,925 doses that will be stored in their ultra-cold freezers with vaccinations starting Tuesday.
Cape Fear Valley Health System is slated to receive nearly 5,000 doses in the first week.
“We intend to distribute it very much the same way we did for our employees when we vaccinate them for flu,” said Cape Fear Valley Health System Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sam Fleishman. “After that, we’ll have to develop a longer-term plan of how we’re going to distribute that to the rest of the community.”
Dr. Fleishman said it may take some time before the general public can get the vaccine.
“We want people to be patient, understand there’s optimism on the horizon,” Dr. Fleishman said. “We’re almost there but we need them to be smart in the interim. Right now, our health systems across the state are being challenged.”
In the meantime, Dr. Fleishman is reminding everyone to keep practicing COVID-19 safety protocols, such as social distancing, wearing a mask and washing their hands.
“This thing is not over,” he said.
“We’ll do whatever we need to do to get this vaccine to, first, our coworkers, who are on the frontlines taking care of these COVID patients and then later on to other coworkers and the community in general,” Dr. Butler said. “This is the first thing we can really do to stop this pandemic. So we’re excited and we’re happy to be getting vaccine delivered, hopefully, Monday.”
North Carolina health officials are now reporting 429,776 total COVID-19 cases since March with 6,153 new cases reported. This is the fifth time in a week where cases have increased by more than 6,000 in a single day.
Throughout North Carolina, 44 more people have died from COVID-19. This brings the total to 5,796.
With 97 percent of hospitals reporting, a record 2,577 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19. That is up 63 from Friday.
NCDHHS said the percent positive test rate has risen to 11.7% from 10.4% on Friday.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, there have been 15,851,735 COVID-19 cases in the United States.
Copyright © 2020 ABC11-WTVD-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved – The Associated Press contributed to this report.