Gov. Cooper says Group 3 eligible for vaccine beginning Wednesday

Gov. Roy Cooper briefs media from the Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh. Photo via N.C. Dept. of Public Safety

RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper and N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen announced that additional frontline workers in Group 3 will be eligible for vaccinations beginning Wednesday. The expedited timeline follows the approval of the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine and an expected increase in vaccine supply to North Carolina.

“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.”

State officials continue to encourage providers to exhaust each week’s vaccine shipment before the following week’s shipment arrives. Health officials cautioned that some vaccine providers may not be ready to open to frontline workers on March 3 if they are still experiencing high demand for vaccines in Groups 1, 2, and 3.

North Carolina’s allotment of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine is expected to arrive Wednesday. The federal government on Saturday, Feb. 27 authorized the distribution of the J&J vaccine and more than 80,000 doses are expected to arrive in the state this week.

NCDHHS says the increased supply will help to ensure distribution and access to COVID-19 vaccines in every community in the state. The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is a single-dose shot and does not require extreme cold storage. As a result, it can be more easily shipped, stored and administered, factors that will help to increase the number of vaccination sites and make them more accessible.

“COVID-19 vaccines and the continued use of the 3 Ws are the most effective ways to help North Carolina stop the spread of COVID-19, get us back in control of our lives and back to the people and places we love,” said Secretary Cohen.

Gov. Cooper is expected to receive his vaccine tomorrow according to his press office, but no other details were released.