North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced plans for the National Guard to help support healthcare providers in COVID-19 vaccine distribution in the state.
Cooper made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday afternoon.
Ensuring COVID-19 vaccines are administered quickly is our top priority right now. We will use all resources and personnel needed. I’ve mobilized the NC National Guard to provide support to local health providers as we continue to increase the pace of vaccinations. – RC
— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) January 5, 2021
The Governor said getting the vaccines to the public was a “top priority right now.” Phase 1B: Group 1 started in Charlotte on Wednesday. Anyone 75 years of age or older is eligible to be inoculated on an appointment basis. A majority of healthcare workers and high risk patients in long-term facilities were vaccinated under Phase 1A that started in mid-December.
A call for the National Guard comes as the Tar Heel State was ranked as one of the worst for vaccine distribution. North Carolina is in the bottom seven states with the lowest vaccination rate in the country, the CDC reported on Monday. They noted that less than 1 percent of the population was vaccinated so far, or about 980 per 100,000 people, according to the CDC’s dashboard.
North Carolina reported 6,291 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the state’s total case count to 578,021.