Up & Coming Weekly

February 02, 2021

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 8 of 24

8 UCW FEBRUARY 3-9, 2021 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM Cohen urges patience as vaccine rollout slowly accelerates by JOHN TRUMP JOHN TRUMP, Carolina Journal News Service. COMMENTS? editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200. State health secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen updated re- porters Jan. 21 about the state of COVID-19 vaccinations in North Carolina. She said the state is acceler- ating the rate in which people are vaccinated, so far admin- istering more than 569,000 doses, she said, representing a133% increase over recent weeks and ranking the state 10th in the nation in total doses administered. State of- ficials, including Cohen and Gov. Roy Cooper, have been the targets of criticism for the slow rollout of the vaccines. She says state officials are constrained by supplies. Health providers are using all first doses available, she said. "Those first doses need to get off the shelf and given to people each and every week." The first couple of ques- tions from reporters focused on the Biden administration and how it would affect vac- cines in North Carolina. It's mostly too early to tell. Cohen, for her part, com- mended the president for his mask mandate, requiring them on federal property. She says masks are the best way to stop the spread of the disease. COVID cases in North Caro- lina, though still too high, are stabilizing, she said. North Carolina's approach to the vaccine differs from other states, including the practice of distributing it as evenly as possible, building capacity everywhere rather than focusing on large popu- lations, Cohen said. An overarching frustration, though, hangs over the state as many people struggle to learn how, when and where they can get vaccinated. She advised people to start with local hospitals and health departments to get vaccines, reminding people they aren't restricted to their home county. She preached patience. Cohen also announced a free ride program for people traveling to health providers for a vaccine. Administered by the N.C. Department of Transportation, some $2.5 million from COVID relief money will go toward fund- ing the program, which will cover about 30,000 people, Eric Boyette, state transporta- tion secretary, said. Nevertheless, it will be several months before most North Carolinians are vac- cinated, Cohen said. Of the state's 100 counties, 86 are in the "red," which, says Cohen, means significant spread. L O C A L V E T E R A N O W N E D B U S I N E S S Westwood: 439 Westwood Shopping Center 910.860.1220 | theupsstorelocal.com/2974 Fort Bragg: Fort Bragg Mini-Mall 910.436.7877 | theupsstorelocal.com/4787 Print/Sign Shop The UPS Store Thanks for choosing us! ANYTHING! We Print, Pack & Ship! We love our Customers Signs • Banners • Business Cards • Digital & Wide Format Printing • Notary Services • Mailbox Solutions • UPS/USPS Shipping • Packaging Material/Supplies • Teacher Discounts • Stickers • Magnets • Acrylic Photos • Custom Puzzles • Military, AAA, & AARP discounts AND MUCH MORE! NEWS Although state health officials report that North Carolina is accelerating COVID-19 vaccination rates, many citizens are frustrated with delays and lack of information on how, when and where to get vaccinated.

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