NC National Guard receives first doses of COVID-19 vaccine

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The North Carolina National Guard says it has received its first allocation of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Guardsmen supporting the state’s COVID-19 response efforts are set to receive shots voluntarily “after completing the prescribe vaccine training in the coming week,” according to a tweet from the NCNG.

On Wednesday, state health officials announced a revised plan for administering COVID-19 vaccines, allowing anyone age 75 and older to receive a vaccine in the next round of vaccinations beginning in January. 

Gov. Roy Cooper (D) and Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the state Dept. of Health and Human Services, said the revisions are meant to align with the latest recommendations from a CDC advisory group. 

Dr. Cohen noted it will still likely be several months before anyone who wants to get vaccinated will be able to do so. 

“With the limited supply of vaccine, we think this could be well into the spring,” she said. “I think everyone across the state that is working on vaccine administration wants to make sure that we can get it to people as quickly as possible.” 

Here’s how the prioritization list looks now:  

Those in Phase 1a – health care workers battling the virus and long-term care residents and staff – are currently being vaccinated.

Phase 1b will begin in early January, Cohen said. Group 1, which could consist of as many as 2 million people, will be anyone 75 years or older, regardless of medical conditions and living situation. Group 2 will be health care and frontline essential workers who are 50 years or older. Group 3 will be health care and frontline workers of any age, regardless of whether they work directly with COVID-19 patients.

The CDC defines essential workers as: first responders, education, manufacturing, corrections officers, grocery store, public transit, food and agriculture, and US postal workers.

Further, Phase 2 – adults at high risk for exposure and at increased risk of severe illness – is also broken down into groups. The first is anyone between the ages of 65 and 74, regardless of medical conditions or living situation. Group 2 is anyone ages 16-64 with a medical condition that increases their risk of severe illness from COVID-19. The third is anyone incarcerated or in other close living settings. Group 4 is essential workers who have not yet been vaccinated.

It’s unclear when Phase 2 will begin. 

Phase 3 is high school and college students 16 and older. Younger children will be in this phase, too, once the vaccine is approved for them.

Phase 4 is anyone who wants the vaccine but hasn’t yet received one.

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