More frontline essential workers in Group Three are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations, and the health department will begin accepting appointments today for residents in Groups One, Two and Three.
Frontline workers who are at substantially higher risk for exposure to COVID-19 have been added to the list of those eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, according to state officials.
Gov. Roy Cooper announced in a press conference today (Tuesday) that the approval of the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine and an expected increase in vaccine supply to North Carolina have accelerated the vaccination schedule.
“The state and our providers continue to work extremely hard to get people vaccinated in a way that’s fast and fair,” said Cooper. “The third vaccine and improving vaccine supply will help us get more people vaccinated more quickly. Our essential frontline workers have remained on the job throughout this pandemic and I am grateful for their work.”
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine comes as the federal government has also increased vaccine in North Carolina beyond the state’s allocation. A new federally-supported site will open in Greensboro March 10, and Walgreen’s is providing vaccine through the federal pharmacy program. While there is still not enough vaccine for everyone, Cooper said the improved supply has contributed to providers who are ready to offer vaccines to additional Group Three essential workers. Under the timeline outlined Tuesday, providers may move to vaccinating these individuals on March 3 (Wednesday).
State officials continue to encourage providers to exhaust each week’s vaccine shipment before the following week’s shipment arrives.
Frontline essential workers who work in a sector essential to the functioning of society and who are
Group Three is composed of healthcare workers, educators, childcare workers, people over 65 and others. This includes healthcare workers, long-term care workers, individuals 65+, and frontline essential workers in manufacturing, education, essential goods, food and agriculture, government and community services, public safety, and transportation.
Cooper also outlined an expected timeline for beginning Group 4 vaccinations. Beginning on March 24, people at higher risk from COVID-19 due to underlying medical conditions will become eligible to receive a vaccine, as well as people in certain congregate-living settings. Group Four vaccinations are not being offered here at this time.
Beginning at 8 a.m. today, the Columbus County Health Department will resume scheduling vaccine appointments for county residents in Groups One, Two, and Three. To make COVID-19 vaccination appointments with the Health Department, call 910.640.6615 extensions 7072 or 7074.
Stephanie Miller of Columbus Regional said CRHS will follow the new state guidelines and include all persons in Group Three who want a vaccination. Patients need to call the hospital COVID19 hotline at 642.1554 for an appointment. CRHS will accept appointments until all doses are spoken for. The hotline opens at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
UNC Southeastern at Lumberton is holding a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic for Group Three individuals from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Wednesday at the North Elm Street Clinic. You may also schedule an appointment by emailing email@example.com or going on the hospital’s website srmc.org and clicking the “Get Vaccinated” tab.
Walk-in visits will be honored as long as daily allocation supplies last, however, pre-scheduled appointments are highly recommended.
UNC Southeastern will not charge patients for the vaccine. Insurance will be filed for patients with insurance. The government will cover vaccine charges for patients without insurance.
Columbus County has seen 276 new COVID cases in the past 14 days, and 5,861 cases overall. 146 people have died here since the pandemic was declared a year ago this week.