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WBT

North Carolina is not only giving the federal government back a portion of their COVID-19 vaccine supply, but the state has declined to accept any new shipments this week.

According to a report Friday by the Associated Press, healthcare providers in the state are working through transferring their supply locally; instead of carrying more in each county’s individual stockpile.

“We are currently focusing on prioritizing the in-state inventory of vaccine by using a first-in, first-out strategy so that providers use vaccines by date of expiration in chronological order, as well as transferring vaccine between providers who can use them,” the NC Department of Health and Human Services said in an email statement to AP News on Friday.

This comes one day after Gov. Roy Cooper visited a vaccination site on Charlotte to push North Carolina’s cash card program to try and boost vaccine distribution across the state. A supply versus demand scenario with the amount of people wanting to be inoculated falling off drastically over the past month.

North Carolina is 36th overall for COVID-19 vaccine doses administered, according to data provided by the CDC.

As of Friday, the state has 2.4 million doses available for use and reportedly turned down an additional 2 million doses offered by the feds. They also returned more than 1.2 million doses which was redistributed into the federal pool, according to the NCDHHS.

As North Carolina turns away vaccines they reported that half of adult residents was considered fully vaccinated, or Thirty-nine percent of the state’s overall population of 10.5 million people. About 46% of eligible vaccine recipients 12 years of age or older are now fully vaccinated, which includes 80% of those 65 and older.