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During a COVID-19 briefing on March 11, Governor Roy Cooper and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. announced beginning on March 17, people in Group 4 who have a medical condition that puts them at higher risk of serious illness and people who live in certain congregate settings will be eligible for vaccination. The rest of Group 4, which includes other essential workers will become eligible April 7.
“This move to Group 4 is good news,” said Governor Cooper. “I know there are many efforts across the state getting vaccines to people as quickly and fairly as possible and I want our providers to know that their work is making all the difference.”
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is in constant contact with providers across the state and surveys both their vaccine capacity and supply. The state was able to update its timeline based on provider feedback and expected supply. As with previous eligibility changes, some vaccine providers may not be ready to open to Group 4 on March 17 if they are still experiencing high demand for vaccines in Groups 1 through 3.
“We are very fortunate to now have three tested, safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines that keep people out of the hospital and prevent death from this virus,” said Secretary Cohen. “With improving supplies, North Carolina can get more people vaccinated sooner and meet our goals to provide equitable access to vaccinations in every community in the state.”
More than 1.1 million North Carolinians have been fully vaccinated as the state works with local health departments and providers to distribute this vaccine quickly and equitably. While supply is still limited, the increased federal allocation of doses is helping providers administer vaccines to more people.
Detailed information about each vaccine group is online at YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov (English) or vacunate.nc.gov (Spanish). North Carolinians can find vaccine providers in their community through the NCDHHS online tool, Find a Vaccine Location. The COVID-19 vaccine help center is available to answer vaccine questions at 888-675-4567.