‘I was surprised’: Members of Group 5 receive vaccine on 1st day of eligibility in NC


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — Everyone 16 and older can now get a vaccine in North Carolina as Group 5 opened up across the state Wednesday.

Sherri Gibbs is now done with her COVID-19 vaccination after getting an appointment at the UNC Friday Center.

“I wasn’t expecting to get an appointment, I just went on my lunch break to see what would happen and I got one,” said Gibbs.

She received the one-shot Johnson & Johnson.
“I was surprised,” said Gibbs.

She didn’t think she’d get one because she’s group 5, which just opened for eligibility.

“It feels great, let’s see how this arm feels, but it feels great,” said Gibbs.

She’s one of nearly 6,000 people to get their first shot Wednesday within the UNC Health System which is vaccinating all groups. It was especially busy at the Friday Center.

“I know a lot of my other friends have already gotten their first shots too, so it feels really good to be one step closer to getting back to that normalcy state again,” said Malvika Nadkarni who’s also in Group 5.

Clinic leaders said they have a lot of vaccines available, making it easier to get to people in group 5 quickly.

“There’s a lot of energy in the building. You can tell there are new people that are eligible and they’re ready to get their vaccination, so it’s great, it’s exciting,” said Elizabeth Ramsey, director of the Friday Center COVID vaccination clinic.

Many said their main motivation for the shot was to be safe for loved ones, but they also noted the other perks that come with it.

“Being able to go back to restaurants and bars with friends and all that fun stuff,” said Nadkarni.

“Traveling definitely. I got a passport just before the world shut down, so I definitely want to get some stamps,” said Gibbs.

The Durham County Health Department said thousands of people in Group 5 have signed up and they will be contacting them on Thursday to make appointments.

Wake County Public Health also expects their wait times for Group 5 to be short.

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