Raleigh, North Carolina “The COVID-19 vaccine will be free in North Carolina for anyone who wants to,” said Governor Roy Cooper.
He and Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, detailed the distribution plan during a media presentation on Tuesday.
State health officials are reviewing data and research on all vaccines before they go public, Cooper said.
The state wants everyone to get the vaccine, but when it becomes available to different populations, it depends on factors including the workplace and current health status.
Once the FDA approves the use of any vaccine, the state is expected to receive about 85,000 doses.
It is given first to healthcare workers in hospitals and long-term care facilities who treat or work with COVID patients and to those who save areas where there are COVID patients. The state estimates that out of these 161,000 people, some countries will receive their shots by the end of December.
This group is narrower than the Phase 1 recipients recommended by the Independent Advisory Board of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In a 13-1 vote, doctors from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices advised that all medical staff and residents of long-term care facilities be included in the first group.
As additional vaccines are approved, the state receives additional benefits and extends distribution to others. By January, the vaccine will reach other high-risk adults.
The second group targeted by the state is those in long-term care, people over the age of 65 who live in crowded situations such as prisons and homeless shelters, and other adults who have two or more chronic conditions that put them at greater risk. in case of severe coronavirus. It is estimated that this group could have a maximum of 951,000 people.
Vaccination of other high-risk individuals exposed to COVID-19 will involve an additional 1 to 1.5 million people – all over 65, under 65, in congested or frontal jobs who do not have two or more chronic its state.
The third phase makes the vaccine available to anyone who is in a basic situation, according to the state, “workers in industries critical to social functioning,” as well as students from K-12 schools, colleges, and universities.
The final section includes the rest of the North Carolina population.
Much of the work will be done at the county level. Director of Wake County Pharmacy, Jason Wittes he says, “We’re just waiting to send us the allotment, delivering it so we can roll to the ground. We’ve been working for about the last two months and, as a small base team, we’ve put a pen on paper. introduction our vaccine. “
Wittes according to those who received the flu vaccine from the county in the fall helped identify logistical issues around refrigeration and mass distribution.
“We have done a lot of practice in our influenza clinics and Sunnybrook location, he said. – If he wants to, we’ve already given him.
On Tuesday, COVID-19 hospital care in North Carolina surpassed 2000 for the first time. More than 2,030 people are hospitalized against the coronavirus, and nearly a quarter are in the intensive care unit. Nationwide, hospital beds are 74% full and intensive care units are 79% full.
As has happened, most of these hospital care takes place in the Triad and Charlotte areas.
- In the metropolitan region, which includes Wake, Franklin, Johnston, Harnett and Lee counties, a total of 133 people are hospitalized, 37 of whom are in the intensive care unit.
- In the Duke Healthcare region, which includes Durham, Granville, Vance, Warren, Person and Caswell counties, there are a total of 148 people hospitalized, 36 of whom are in the intensive care unit.
- In the Central Carolina region, which includes Alamance, Orange, Chatham, Moore, Montgomery, Richmond, Hoke, Cumberland and Sampson counties, there are a total of 232 people hospitalized, 62 of them in the intensive care unit are.
In North Carolina, there are an average of 3,617 new cases per day, and more than 10% of coronavirus tests are positive. A total of 5,284 people died in the state.
At his morning meeting with his state council, Cooper warned, “It’s a difficult few months ahead,” reminding them again that leaders need to set an example in terms of wearing masks and social distance.
Cooper said the council will continue to meet remotely “until we get to the other side of the pandemic”.
Even with the promising news from many vaccine manufacturers, several health experts say the COVID-19 vaccine will not be widely available until at least spring.
Cohen said that while few can choose to vaccinate before the new year, it is especially important for people to keep social distance and follow mask commands throughout the holiday season.