Next week, the Durham County Department of Public Health (DCoDPH) will begin providing the updated COVID-19 vaccine to uninsured and underinsured Durham residents aged six months or older.

Appointments for insured residents are on pause, for now.

Here’s what to know:

Who’s eligible?

Appointments will be available to residents aged six months or older who do not have private health insurance coverage, Medicare, or Medicaid, or whose health insurance does not fully cover the cost of the COVID-19 vaccine.

How do I make an appointment? 

Starting tomorrow, October 13, at 9 a.m., eligible residents can call 919-560-7658 to schedule an appointment. Appointments will begin on Monday, October 16. Due to limited supplies, DCoDPH will not accept walk-ins.

If appointment slots are filled up, keep an eye on DCoDPH’s website or Facebook page. The department will post an update as soon as more vaccines become available.

What brand is the vaccine?

Both Pfizer and Moderna brand COVID-19 vaccines will be provided. As supplies are limited, a choice of brand is not guaranteed. 

Why aren’t appointments available for people with insurance?

DCoDPH has so far only received COVID-19 vaccines through the Bridge Access Program and the Vaccines for Children Program. The two programs, which provide vaccines at no cost to uninsured or underinsured residents, do not allow their doses to be used for residents with insurance. (The federal public health emergency, which previously enabled residents to receive free COVID-19 vaccines regardless of insurance status, ended in May).

Due to shipping delays, vaccines intended for insured residents have not yet come into stock, though DCoDPH anticipates that the doses will be available very soon.

Where else can I get a vaccine?

According to the CDC’s vaccine locator, COVID-19 vaccines are in stock at a number of Walgreens, Harris Teeter, and Costco pharmacies in and around Durham. 

As the INDY reported last week, Durham resident Marcella Thompson has also organized vaccine clinics—intended primarily for residents without insurance—that will take place at the Walgreens on Fayetteville Street from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on November 4, 5, 11, and 12.

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