CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen visited a large-scale vaccine site at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Friday Conference Center to witness health care workers and North Carolinians over age 65 receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

“The number one priority right now is getting this vaccine administered to North Carolinians as quickly and as equitably as possible,” Cooper said. “I’m grateful for the health care providers working tirelessly to get these shots into more people’s arms and helping us get to the other side of this pandemic.”

In accordance with federal recommendations, the state has given local entities the flexibility to begin vaccinating North Carolinians over the age of 65 and all health care workers who have in-person contact with patients.

More than 45,000 vaccines are expected to be given through large-scale events. A list of local vaccine providers is available on

”This is all hands-on deck effort, and we appreciate our partners working hard to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible while still focusing on equity,” said Cohen. “It is heartwarming to see the joy and relief on people’s face when they receive the vaccine.”

“We are very pleased to have Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen visit our busy vaccination site at UNC’s Friday Center as we partner closely with the State on vaccine administration,” said UNC Health CEO Wesley Burks, MD. “UNC Health and the School of Medicine have been involved in every facet of the battle against COVID-19, from clinical care and therapy development to clinical trials and vaccine roll out. We are working as quickly as we can to get vaccines in the arms of those 65 years old and older. We are also dedicated to ensuring equity in distribution of the vaccine for our communities.”