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Health leaders warn of complacency, encourage vaccinations as COVID-19 cases increase slightly

NCDHHS said the data is encouraging showing a majority of people in favor of getting vaccinated, it will just take time to get to everyone who wants a shot.

NORTH CAROLINA, USA — Since the news of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause, Triad health leaders are worried it will push already hesitant people even further from getting a vaccine, but the state health department assures the public the pause shows the process is working. 

"This is one person in a million that got these rare blood clots and we're out of an abundance of caution we are pausing and letting the CDC and ACIP study this situation so they can provide further guidance,"  said Forsyth County Health Director Joshua Swift.

Both Swift and Randolph County Health Director Susan Hayes said they have noticed a drop in demand in their counties for people coming to schedule appointments. 

Both health directors have stressed how crucial it is to get the shot as a step towards ending the pandemic.

"We need to get as many people vaccinated so we can build that immunity and protect those around us and that helps slow down the virus," said Swift.

Wake Forest Baptist Health Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Christopher Ohl said what happens next for masks and vaccinations will determine where the pandemic takes us over the next few months. 

"It's basically going to be up to us what happens in the next three months," said Dr. Ohl.

NCDHHS Chief Deputy Secretary Kody Kinsley said supply is increasing and the data, encouraging, with 7 out of 10 people reporting they either are or want to be vaccinated. 

Kinsley said getting to everyone who wants a shot takes time. 

"They may not have the right time to schedule an appointment when they can be off work. They're navigating their childcare concerns, their personal work," said Kinsley.

The state health department reminds everyone that this is not the time to let down their guard.