Starting April 7, all adults in North Carolina will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a statement from Gov. Roy Cooper. The accelerated timeline for moving Groups 4 and 5 was announced Thursday and will start on March 31st with all adults eligible beginning a week later.
“I’m grateful for North Carolinians who are taking this seriously and getting the shot when it’s their time and I’m encouraged that North Carolina will be able to open eligibility to all adults well ahead of the President’s May 1 goal,” said Cooper.
Beginning on March 31, additional essential workers and people living in other congregate settings such as student dormitories will be eligible for vaccination. Along with those essential workers, energy, financial services, public works and others as categorized by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
The accelerated timeline will allow the state ramp up vaccination effort with “Healthier Together,” a new public private partnership with the NC Counts Coalition, will “help increase the number of individuals from historically marginalized populations that receive COVID-19 vaccinations and provide a foundation for a longer-term framework for health equity,” according to the press release from the Governor’s office.
“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.”
As part of this initiative, Healthier Together will provide grants to community-based organizations to do this work and hire regional health equity teams to support community-based organizations in their outreach and education efforts, help match vaccine providers with community-based organizations, and work with DHHS to ensure that communities have the vaccine supply, outreach, and transportation resources they need to get people vaccinated. The program is funded by federal COVID-19 dollars.
“Healthier Together is another embodiment of our commitment to equity,” said Secretary Cohen. “It brings together the expertise and relationships of trusted community-based organizations with the policy tools and resources of state government to create a new partnership model to address vaccine equity.”
As of Thursday (3/25), 2,775,957 people in North Carolina received their first vaccines dose with only 1.5 million fully-vaccinated.
For accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines, visit YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov.