The Orange County Health Department marked a milestone in its fight with COVID-19 on Thursday when it administered its 10,000th first dose of a COVID vaccine.
“This is a big day for the Orange County Health Department,” said Health Director Quintana Stewart. “We are so proud and so grateful to all the staff and volunteers who have helped make this achievement possible.”
A line of people stretched down the front steps of the Whitted Building in Hillsborough before the clinic opened at 10 a.m. Business remained steady throughout the day.
Many of the people getting vaccinated were from Group 5, the last group of people made eligible to receive the shot. Lisa McCubbin of Chapel Hill said she signed up as soon as Group 5 became eligible on April 7. She had already received an appointment through another provider for the same day but cancelled it when she was notified of an appointment by the Health Department.
“I am so excited to get it,” she said. “I’ve been waiting a long time. I can’t wait to travel. I want to go to Italy. I want to do some trips I’ve been holding off for over a year. And just to get back to normal, going to a gym indoors without a mask, things like that.”
McCubbin said she had no hesitancy about getting the vaccine. “I was looking forward to it,” she said.
Bryan Braxton, an Orange County native, said he was notified the day before that he could get a shot. He said he couldn’t wait to gather again with friends and family.
“Just getting back to normal where you can be around everybody and not in certain numbers,” he said.
Carmelo Roberts had nine good reasons to get the vaccine. “Most of my reason is to protect my grandchildren. I don’t want to not be able to see them or to transmit it to them.”
Roberts also said he was eager to go on another cruise. He had taken his first cruise to the Bahamas before the pandemic hit and can’t wait to hit the high seas again.
“I miss it,” he said.” There is a possibility that without the vaccine, you won’t be able to cruise. And I get it. It’s about protecting people.”
Like McCubbin, Roberts said he had no hesitation when the appointment was offered to him. “Not at all,” he said. “It’s the best thing. You’re not only protecting yourself, but it’s about protecting others. We are all here to try to help each other.”
The county received an additional allotment of 500 first doses for the week and was scheduled to give 400 first doses Thursday and again Friday.
According to data from the NC Department of Health and Human Services, more than 66,000 people in Orange County (44.6% of the population) had received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine as of April 15. More than 50,000 residents had been fully vaccinated, representing 33.9%. The numbers are among the highest in the state for any county.
To register to be vaccinated with the Orange County Health Department you may either:
- Call (919) 913-8088. The phone line is operated daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Spanish and other languages available.
- Register online at https://redcap.link/OCHDvax
Find a full list of vaccinators at www.myspot.nc.gov.