North Carolinians who have been anxious to get vaccinated against COVID-19 got some very good news on Thursday.
Governor Roy Cooper said the state would be accelerating its own timeline, allowing all adults age 16-65 to get vaccinated starting Wednesday, April 7th.
Starting March 31st, those additional essential workers in Group 4 will be eligible for vaccination. This group includes workers in construction, energy, financial services, hotels and public works. It also includes college students living in dorms. Learn more about Group 4 Essential Workers.
“I’m encouraged North Carolina will be able to open eligibility to all adults well ahead of the president’s May 1st goal,” Cooper said. “We’re not there yet, but in the next couple of months there will be enough supply for everyone who wants a vaccine to get one.”
The governor said with the supply of vaccines increasing each week, all North Carolinians will soon have a role in encouraging friends, family member and neighbors who may still be hesitant to get vaccinated.
“The vaccine is our path to recovery,” said Cooper.
State health officials also announced on Thursday a new public private partnership with the NC Counts Coalition to increase the number of individuals from historically marginalized populations that receive COVID-19 vaccinations.
“Our work will support the state’s ongoing priority to maximize the speed and efficiency of North Carolina’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution while adhering to its commitment to equity,” said Stacey Carless, Executive Director of the NC Counts Coalition.
“Through Healthier Together, we will begin working with the state to address and dismantle systemic and structural barriers to healthier equity.”
More than 4.3 million doses of vaccine have been administered in North Carolina, with one-third of all eligible adults now partially protected from the coronavirus. One-in-five adults in our state are fully vaccinated.
While the numbers have been promising, Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen offered a word of caution in advance of this week’s easing of COVID restrictions.
“Even as good as these vaccines are, no vaccine is perfect, and that’s why we want to get as many folks vaccinated – to really get that viral level low in our community,” Cohen explained.
Cohen said mask wearing and social-distancing remain important tools in keeping the virus in check.
To find a local vaccine provider near you, visit: https://myspot.nc.gov/