The Graham County Health Department, which originally thought they wouldn't be able to vaccinate residents 65 and older against COVID-19 until March, will be vaccinating 200 patients Friday.

Director Brian Douglas said that because the county and health clinics have been so "organized and steady," they have been able to get through those residents who were given a priority by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. He also acknowledged that some people are still hesitant to get vaccinated, so that shortened the priority list.

The county created an online registration process for people 65 and older last week and so far 580 have signed up, Douglas said.

The health department will inoculate 200 registered residents Friday and begin working through the others on the list next week, he said.

Residents 65 to 74 years of age can register by visiting the health department's website at

The county also announced 24 new cases today, bringing to 1,799 the total number of currently ill residents.

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