RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday some members of Group 4 will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine beginning March 17.
“Group 4 will open to people with medical conditions that put them at higher-risk for severe COVID-19 illness. Also eligible starting March 17 are people living in some congregate settings that increase risk of exposure to COVID-19,” he said.
The rest of Group 4 will be eligible April 7.
Group 4 is anyone 16-64 years old with one or more high-risk medical conditions for severe disease from COVID-19, people living in close group settings and essential workers.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said a “close group living setting” is described as homelessness or living in a homeless shelter, or correctional facility, such as jail or prison.
Cooper said no written proof of a medical condition is needed to receive a dose as part of Group 4.
The governor said NCDHHS surveyed providers about how they are handling the demand from Groups 1-3 and whether they have capacity to move forward.
That survey allowed Cooper to move parts of Group 4 up a week.
“The move to Group 4 is good news. It’s possible because of the tireless work of our state health officials, vaccine providers, federal partners, our North Carolina National Guard and Emergency Management and many others. I want you to know your work is making all the difference,” Cooper said.
On Thursday, the state reported more than 3 million doses have been administered, either through the state providers or through the federal program for long-term care facilities.
In North Carolina, up to 18.1 percent of the state at least partially vaccinated, and 11.2 percent fully vaccinated.
But what health conditions qualify someone for the group 4 vaccinations?
The NCDHHS released the following list of high-risk health conditions so you can know if you’re eligible for the vaccine.
- Asthma (moderate to severe)
- Cerebrovascular disease or history of stroke
- Chronic kidney disease
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Cystic fibrosis
- Dementia or other neurologic condition
- Diabetes type 1 or 2
- Down Syndrome
- A heart condition such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from: immune deficiencies, HIV, taking chronic steroids or other immune weakening medicines, history of solid organ blood or bone marrow transplant
- Liver disease, including hepatitis
- Pulmonary fibrosis
- Overweight or obesity
- Sickle cell disease (not including sickle cell trait) or thalassemia
- Smoking (current or former, defined as having smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime)