Thursday, June 24, 2021

NC enters next phase of COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan for senior citizens and essential workers –


On Monday, North Carolina enters 1B, the next phase of its COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan, meaning senior citizens should soon have access to vaccines.

The first Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which were administered in the United States in mid-December, were prioritized for healthcare workers and for those who live or work at long-term care facilities.

Now, other frontline essential workers and people 75 and older will be able to get the vaccine as well.

In a state briefing last week, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said she expects to share more information soon on the updated vaccine rollout plan, which could use employees from CVS and Walgreens to help administer shots to senior citizens.

FDA approves at-home COVID-19 test

Davidson County, which is west of the Triangle, already announced sign-ups for senior citizens and will start distributing to that group Monday.

It has been 21 days since the first COVID-19 vaccine, manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, was administered in the Triangle. Anyone who received the Pfizer vaccine on Dec. 14 can now get their second dose.


At least three weeks must separate the administration of the two doses. The Pfizer vaccine appears to be about 52% effective after the first dose and 95% effective after the second dose. Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses.

Phases 2, 3 and 4 are next

Phase 2, the next phase, will enable adults at high risk for exposure and at increased risk of severe illness to get vaccinations, including anyone ages 65-74, regardless of their medical condition or living situation.

Under Phase 2, people under 65 can get vaccinated if they have a medical condition that increases the risk of severe disease from COVID-19 along with remaining essential workers and people who live or work in care facilities.

In Phase 3, college, university and high school students 16 or older can get vaccinated. When the state enters Phase 4, anyone who wants a COVID-19 vaccine will be able to get one.

Cohen said it will be months before COVID-19 vaccines are widely available the public.

“Until most people are vaccinated, everyone needs to continue to wear a mask, wait six feet apart, and wash their hands,” she said.

Coronavirus spiking in North Carolina

Tracking NC coronavirus cases by county

North Carolina has seen another spike in COVID-19 cases, with the first two days of 2021 showing 19,000 new cases in our state and most counties in red, a critical community spread zone. Doctors told WRAL it will take full two weeks after Christmas to see the holiday’s impact on COVID-19 numbers.

As many people return to work Monday, health officials advise anyone who traveled or gathered in a large group over the holidays get tested.

Wake County has set up two new testing sites to help with the demand for testing, and some patients are getting results back in hours. Appointments are not needed.

Testing sites open Monday include:

Marsh Creek Park, 3050 N. New Hope Road, Raleigh
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Roberts Park, 1300 E. Martin St.
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Method Community Park, 514 Method Road, Raleigh
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

On Monday, North Carolina could surpass 7,000 COVID-19 deaths. The number of people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 is 3,576, the highest number since the beginning of the pandemic.

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