By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • A week after the unofficial start of summer, Hoke County’s number of new confirmed cases of COVID-19 has remained low, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS).
Hoke saw just 60 new cases of the novel coronavirus over the past 14 days, including 29 cases in the last seven days. That’s lower than the county has seen since the early days of the pandemic in spring 2020.
COVID-19 vaccine providers in Hoke County continue offering the vaccine at no cost to anyone age 18 and up, with some providers able to schedule an appointment for children age 12 and up.
Although the county’s vaccination rate appears by official numbers to be low, the official numbers do not include any veterans or active-duty service members or their families who may have been vaccinated at a military-connected medical facility. The Department of Defense uses a different system to administer COVID-19 vaccines and that information isn’t currently being provided to the state, only to federal agencies, according to officials.
“We know that many military personnel and their families at military installations in the state can be vaccinated through a federal program with the Department of Defense (DoD). This program is not a part of the state’s allocations or (COVID-19 Vaccine Management System) CVMS data,” NCDHHS office of communications press assistant Catie Armstrong wrote in an email to The News-Journal.
“Those who are vaccinated through the federal program with the DoD are not reflected in vaccine data on the dashboard, as DoD data is reported separately to the CDC. NCDHHS is engaged in ongoing conversations with DoD about opportunities for vaccination data sharing.”
As of Tuesday, the state’s vaccination dashboard showed 18 percent of Hoke County’s population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with 21 percent of residents having received at least one shot. In comparison, 24 percent of Cumberland County’s population, 23 percent of Robeson County’s population and 43 percent of Moore County’s population is considered fully vaccinated.
The Hoke County Health Department is currently vaccinating anyone age 18 and up. The Health Department is accepting walk-ins from 9 a.m.-noon and 1 p.m.-4 p.m. during the week. The department is offering the Moderna vaccine.
For more information, go to www.readyhoke.org. If you have any questions regarding the vaccination process, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Those without computer access may call by phone (910)-753-4430. The Hoke County Health Department is located at 683 East Palmer Street in Raeford.
Cape Fear Valley Health is offering the Pfizer vaccine for people age 12 and up. Youth under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments preferred. The hospital system is offering the vaccine Tuesdays or Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cape Fear Valley Hoke Pharmacy located at 300 Medical Pavilion Drive, Suite 100. For more details, visit www.capefearvalley.com/COVID19.
Dr. Karen Smith’s medical practice in Raeford is offering the COVID-19 vaccine. The office is located at 929 West Prospect Avenue. Call (910) 904-1695.
The Walmart Pharmacy on Fayetteville Road in Raeford is one of thousands of Walmart stores now offering the vaccine. For availability, go to Walmart.com/covidvaccine.
FirstHealth has primary care providers, and locations in counties outside Hoke offering the vaccine to anyone age 18 and older. A parent or guardian can schedule an appointment for youth age 12 and up to receive the Pfizer vaccine. To view availability, visit www.firsthealth.org/shot or call (910) 715-SHOT.
The state also has information about where to get the vaccine at http://yourspotyourshot.nc.gov, or call the COVID-19 line at 1-877-490-6642.