Nearly a fifth of the adult population in the eight-county region has now received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, completing the two-shot therapy against the coronavirus, data released Friday by Albemarle Regional Health Services show.
ARHS administered more than 8,100 second doses of the Moderna vaccine across the region last week, while its partners administered another 2,600. That raises the number of people who’ve received both vaccine doses to 21,634, or about 17.22% of the roughly 125,000 adults in the region ages 18 and older.
Forty percent of those who’ve now received both vaccine doses got them in Pasquotank or Currituck counties, where 4,970 and 3,671 second doses, respectively, have been administered.
Bertie County has seen the third-largest number of people complete the two-shot therapy: 2,371. Perquimans County is fourth, with 2,160 second-doses administered. Chowan County is fifth, with 1,817 second doses. It’s followed by Hertford County, with 1,788; Gates County with 1,258; and Camden County with 999.
Meanwhile, ARHS administered only 834 first doses of the vaccine this week. Combined with the 5,000 first doses administered by the agency’s partners, the total number of people who’ve at least started the two-shot therapy rose to 38,345, or 30.52% of adults in the region.
ARHS also reported that the total number of new COVID-19 cases, active virus cases and the region’s positive test rate all fell again this week.
Total new cases rose this week by only 411 — 73 fewer than were reported last week. Active cases, meanwhile, fell by more than 100 to 355, while the positive test rate dropped by nearly 2 percent to 7.19%.
But ARHS also reported Friday that the region’s death toll from COVID increased by seven this week to 240.
Three Chowan residents died of complications from COVID-19, while two Currituck residents and two others in Perquimans also died from the disease.
ARHS said two of the Chowan residents died at Chowan River Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, an Edenton nursing home where 114 COVID-19 cases and three deaths have now been reported. All three were over age 65, ARHS said.
The regional health department also reiterated Friday what it first announced on Thursday: that because of vaccine shipment delays, no first- or second-dose vaccine clinics are currently scheduled in the region for next week.
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday morning that none of the more than 163,000 first and second doses of the Moderna vaccine scheduled to arrive this week had been delivered, a casualty of the inclement weather currently gripping the nation. DHHS also said only a limited number of the nearly 127,000 expected doses of the Pfizer vaccine had been shipped to North Carolina.
ARHS Director Battle Betts expressed optimism Friday that weather conditions will improve next week to allow vaccine shipments to resume.
“Unfortunately we cannot control the weather but we can continue to stay positive,” Betts said in a press release. “We appreciate everyone’s patience and we look forward to being able to resume vaccine clinics as soon as we can.”
ARHS said it would release updated information about clinics as soon as it’s notified of vaccine shipments. The agency again cautioned persons who’ve received the first dose of the vaccine not to panic.
“Rest assured that you will receive your guaranteed dosage upon arrival,” the agency said. “There is no maximum interval between the first and second dose.”
On Thursday, the agency noted that second doses of the vaccine can be administered up to 42 days after the first dose and the treatment will still be effective.