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Success, challenges as counties hold second dose COVID-19 vaccine clinics

Cabarrus County held two second-dose vaccine clinics this week while Lincoln County will hold second-dose clinics later this month.

CONCORD, N.C. — As North Carolina moves into Group 3 of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, counties across the Charlotte region have had success and challenges as they distribute the vaccine's second dose to people.

About 900 people drove their way through Concord's Cabarrus Arena and Events Center on Tuesday to get their second doses.

"It has been really smooth," Michael Gantt said. "This has been one of the smoothest I've seen operate over here."

He said he didn't feel any side effects after getting both doses.

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Cathy Honeycutt, his girlfriend, accompanied him to his appointment. She's scheduled to get her vaccine in late-March.

"I feel better that he's gotten it," Honeycutt said. "But, I'll feel better when both of us have had ours."

The Cabarrus Health Alliance said the second dose vaccine clinics have been operating efficiently, in part, with the help of healthcare workers coming out of retirement to volunteer at clinics.

Dr. Amy Woolwine is a retired internist who volunteered at Tuesday's clinic.

"I just think the whole pandemic has been so stressful," Woolwine said. "It has just felt really good to be a part of the solution."

Lincoln County's deputy health director, Lena Jones, said they'll be having more second dose clinics this month.

On Wednesday, the health distributed the first doses of the vaccine to people in Lincoln County's western region.

"People that receive their first dose are guaranteed their second dose even with the anxiety around the lack of vaccine in the community," Jones said. "When people receive their first dose, we set aside second doses so they'll be able to get it."

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In Caldwell County, the public health department will reschedule second dose appointments for about 100 people as the department faced a shortage of second doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

The department said it happened because some second doses were given to people who received the first doses at a different location.

The county added there have been inconsistencies in the number of doses per vial of the Pfizer vaccine because some nurses are able to squeeze out an extra dose, but an extra dose is not guaranteed in each vial.

The county's public health director said they're working with the state to find more second doses.

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