The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it will allocate $103 million to North Carolina to cover the cost of COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
The federal funding is estimated to represent a 90-day period for the state’s vaccination program.
“This funding will help the state distribute and administer COVID-19 vaccinations to more North Carolinians,” said Gracia Szczech, regional administrator for FEMA. “We have been working closely with our state partners since the onset of the pandemic, and these dollars will assist with their ongoing efforts.”
As of Friday, North Carolina was in the bottom half for vaccine distribution in the U.S. at No. 25. The efforts are a bit worse in South Carolina, who was ranked 33rd overall. West Virginia and North Dakota have set the standard in the country with 85 percent of vaccines distributed.
Thousands of people were vaccinated at Bank of American Stadium over the weekend. Atrium Health said it originally planned to vaccinate just under 20,000 people, but due to increased efficiency, more appointments were made available with nearly 30,000 being inoculated at the mass vaccination event.
South Carolina officials announced the first two known U.S. cases of the South African COVID-19 variant known as B.1.351. Mecklenburg County Health Department reported their first case of B.1.1.7, the other Coronavirus variant from the U.K. two weeks ago. Maryland joined South Carolina over the weekend as the second state to report cases of the mutant strain of COVID-19 from South Africa.