Some traveling to the Triad to get a COVID-19 vaccine

There’s major demand for the coronavirus vaccine and some are driving hours to get their doses.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The high demand for the coronavirus vaccine is obvious but some are driving hours to the Triad to get their doses, specifically to Forsyth County.

The county shared a list with WFMY News 2 that shows 35 North Carolina counties that vaccine patients have traveled from to get vaccinated in Forsyth.

Forsyth County said their data is based on the addresses vaccine patients give them.

The map below shows those counties stretch across the state. They are denoted by yellow stars. A white circle shows Forsyth County.

WFMY News 2 asked the Guilford County Department of Public Health whether they have data on where their vaccine patients are coming from. The health department responded via email saying it does not have any data to share at this time.

Some are driving hundreds of miles to get their vaccines but the drive wasn’t that long for Jeff Telander of Alamance County.

“I liken it to trying to get really good seats at a very popular rock concert. If you want good seats you’ve got to be there and ready to click on that button,” Telander said.

Telander decided to get vaccinated in another county because Alamance County is still only vaccinating people 75 and up. Other counties opened up to people 65 and up after the state gave the green light.

“There’s no way to know when Alamance is going to get through to our category and I think it’s important for as many of us to get vaccinated as possible,” Telander said.

He tried several places and was waitlisted. The first to confirm his vaccine appointment was the Forsyth County Department of Public Health.

“It doesn’t matter what county or state you’re from,” Forsyth County Public Health Director Joshua Swift said.

Swift said the state’s vaccination plan allows people to travel for their shots, as long as they are a part of the appropriate phase.

“We have not seen anyone state hop but if they do we will not turn anyone away,” Swift said, “We have had individuals from across North Carolina come to get vaccine. We have seen people from other counties from the coast.”

Meanwhile, vaccine supplies are limited across the state which is creating uneven supplies for counties.

Forsyth County got 5,000 doses this week while Guilford County got 500.

Data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services shows since vaccinations began in Mid-December, both counties are neck and neck in the number of vaccines they have given at 30,000 doses each.

NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said moving forward, counties will receive vaccine shipments based on population and the doses must be divided among providers.

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