Busy at the Harz Vaccination Centre

Source: picture alliance / Getty

If you’ve been waiting to get vaccinated in North Carolina, that’s about to come to an end this week.

In two days, the state will open up all COVID-19 vaccination sites to Group 5 which is anyone 16 or older. The expansion comes just in time as new cases are reportedly on the rise in North Carolina.

Mecklenburg County has a seven-day average of 240 cases per day over the last week. An uptick from mid-March, but still nowhere near the record totals from the beginning of the year. As of Easter Sunday, more than 143,000 people are fully vaccinated in the Charlotte metro area, which is a little over 1 in 10 adults in Mecklenburg county.

Overall, 28% of all adults in North Carolina have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Experts are concerned the rise in new cases and the lack of people being vaccinated could lead to another nationwide surge, if more consistency isn’t accomplished over the coming months.

“Four million people vaccinated (in a day) is really a lot of people,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN on Saturday referring to the current U.S. vaccination rate. “If you multiply that by 30 days in a month, you’ve got 120 million vaccinations that you’ve done. That is what you need to get your arms around this outbreak and to prevent additional deaths, additional hospitalizations, additional infections.”

Gov. Roy Cooper accelerated the process for vaccine distribution in the state two weeks ago. A step done by many states to help reach President Biden’s goal of 200 million adults being fully vaccinated by May 1. As of Sunday, 106.2 million Americans have received at least one dose with 61.4 million of those considered fully vaccinated.