DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – On Thursday, dozens of people showed up to the Durham County Department of Public Health for their appointment to get a COVID-19 vaccine. When they got there, they found an empty parking lot and a locked building.
More than a dozen people told CBS 17 they were not told by the health department their vaccine appointments had been rescheduled.
The health department posted a news release on its Facebook page the night before that said appointments would be canceled due to inclement weather.
Health officials said the winter weather across the country has caused a shipment delay in vaccines. As a result, all first-dose appointments at the Durham County Department of Public Health from Feb. 18-24 were rescheduled. Officials said they will call these individuals no later than Feb. 23 for more information about rescheduling.
Second-dose appointments would only be impacted on Thursday due to the county closure for inclement weather.
Samey Parrish and his wife both had appointments on Thursday to get their second dose of the vaccine. He was surprised to see no one at the health department.
“I thought something must not be right because there wasn’t anyone in the building,” Parrish said.
Parrish said they did not see the health department’s Facebook post and no one called or emailed them to let them know their appointment had been canceled.
“I feel like they should have let us know. I mean, they know our number .They should’ve called,” Parrish said.
Lynae Webb is a health care worker in Durham and she also showed up on Thursday morning to get her second dose of the vaccine.
“It would’ve been nice to know they were planning on rescheduling,” Webb said.
She said she also has some concerns about whether she will get her second dose during the right “window” of time for it to still have the same effect.
“I think that’s a concern, as far as the time span between the first and second dose,” Webb said. “I don’t want to have to wait like another month for a second dose.”
CBS 17 reached out to the Durham County Department of Public Health about how these residents said they were not informed about the appointment cancellations. In an email, a spokeswoman for the department said everyone who had an appointment for Thursday was notified before that day that it would be rescheduled.
CBS 17 asked how they were notified exactly, but has not yet heard back.
The health department has a total of 100 first-dose appointments that it said will need to be rescheduled.
Officials said they do have the capacity to fill additional appointments per day. They said they plan to get everyone in as soon as possible and they do not anticipate any other appointments will be impacted.
Durham health officials said they will reach out to everyone by Tuesday about rescheduling the first-dose appointments.
As for the second-dose appointments, health officials said those individuals will get their shots as soon as possible and they will receive them in the right window of time.
Late Thursday, the Durham County Department of Public Health sent an update that said it would delay its opening time to 11 a.m. on Friday due to inclement weather. It said individuals with second-dose vaccine appointments would be contacted on Thursday evening about moving appointments to a later time on Friday.