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COVID vaccinations are climbing, slowly, in rural North Carolina. But skepticism remains

By Sarah Nagem sarahnagem@borderbelt.org Rita Watson had chosen not to get the COVID-19 vaccine. She was worried about what was in the shots and whether they were safe.  But when her 41-year-old daughter contracted the virus and became severely ill, Watson reconsidered. She and her four sons went to the Robeson County Health Department on Thursday to be vaccinated.  “I decided, seeing my daughter in …Read more Continue reading COVID vaccinations are climbing, slowly, in rural North Carolina. But skepticism remains

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One county’s struggle to control COVID-19 highlights challenges in rural North Carolina

Rufus Duckworth, the mayor of Bladenboro in southeastern North Carolina, said he was shocked when he learned about a COVID-19 cluster in his town.  But, he said, “A lot of people are weary of the vaccination.”  Bladen County, home to about 33,000 people, including 1,600 in Bladenboro, is the only North Carolina county currently designated by state health officials as having “critical spread” of COVID-19.  …Read more Continue reading One county’s struggle to control COVID-19 highlights challenges in rural North Carolina

Kim Smith - Columbus County Health Department

Columbus health department funding has plummeted over last decade

This is the first in a series of several stories that will analyze funding and spending of health departments across the Border Belt. For more than a decade, Columbus County women have had fewer and fewer affordable options for breast and cervical cancer screening, according to Elizabeth Kinlaw, an adult health nurse for the Columbus County Health Department. “There’s no help for them,” Kinlaw said.  …Read more Continue reading Columbus health department funding has plummeted over last decade

Covid vaccine

Scotland County 14th best in vaccine access

Scotland County has consistently had one of the best COVID-19 vaccine allocation rates in the state — and certainly the best of the Border Belt counties. Since the beginning of vaccine distribution in mid December, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has sent Scotland County an average of 743 vaccine doses per week, or one dose per 6.35 county residents.   “I don’t …Read more Continue reading Scotland County 14th best in vaccine access