NORTH CAROLINA (WWAY/WTVD) — There’s more good news coming for more North Carolinians eagerly awaiting their spot for the shot.
Governor Roy Cooper on Tuesday announced that a boost in supply means all frontline essential workers in Group 3 can sign up for their COVID-19 vaccinations as early as Wednesday — a full week before the originally scheduled start date of March 10.
Group 3 includes first responders and emergency personnel such as police and firefighters, people who work in-person in manufacturing, food and agriculture, grocery stores, government workers and others.
“Our essential frontline workers have remained on the job throughout this pandemic and I am grateful for their work,” Cooper said.
The governor also announced a target date of March 24 for select members of Group 4, including adults 16-64 with pre-existing conditions that make them high risk for severe cases of COVID-19.
“The third vaccine and improving vaccine supply will help us get more people vaccinated more quickly. But as we’ve said before – we still don’t have enough vaccines.,” he said. “You may have to wait for an appointment even if today’s action means you are eligible to get vaccinated.”
As recent as two weeks ago, the state had only been giving out around 160,000.
The first vaccinations for Group 3, which were limited to teachers, educators and school staff, began on February 22.
Tuesday’s announcement is a rather remarkable development considering the slow start of North Carolina’s vaccination campaign, which started in December. Both state and federal officials said there wasn’t enough supply to satisfy the insatiable demand for the vaccine.
“As we continue to move in the right direction, we know progress is fragile. COVID variants are present and vaccines aren’t widely available yet,” Gov. Cooper said. “We must continue to use good judgment. If we recommit to keeping ourselves and each other safe, we can get to the other side.”