ROCKINGHAM — For Richmond County residents who plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine but don’t want to wait a month between doses, the Health Department is offering an alternative.
Dr. Tommy Jarrell, county health and human services director, announced in an email Monday that Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine is now available.
Up until now, the only vaccination being offered in the county was the one manufactured by Moderna, which, like the one made by Pfizer, requires two doses four weeks apart.
As of this writing, statistics from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services had not been updated since April 1 due to Easter weekend.
On that date, nearly 25% of county residents (10,812) had been partially vaccinated and 7,724 were fully vaccinated. Nearly 1.7 million North Carolinans are fully vaccinated, according to DHHS.
Both Richmond and Scotland counties have opened up vaccinations to anyone 18 or older, ahead of both the state and national timelines. Scotland Health officials cited the fact that “supply of vaccine appointments has been greater than the demand for vaccinations” as a reason for moving ahead.
During a press conference late last month, Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said the only vaccine rated for 16 and 17 year olds is the one developed by Pfizer. For the other two, individuals must be at least 18.
The Health Department adjusted its free COVID testing hours to 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, dropping the hours on Saturday. Jarrell said this is just a PCR test and that rapid testing is not available at that location.
To sign up for the vaccine locally, call 910-417-3030 and leave your name, date of birth and phone number. Local health officials ask that callers not leave multiple messages.
Vaccinations aren’t restricted by residency.
Weekly vaccinations are also available at Scotland Memorial Hospital. To register for the clinic in Laurinburg, call 910-291-7654 during the hours of 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday-Friday for assistance.