CHARLOTTE, NC — Mecklenburg County residents 75 years old and older will soon be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Details for when those vaccinations will begin will be unveiled the first week of January 2021, Mecklenburg County Public Health said Thursday.
“Vaccine supplies are still limited, and appointments will be made available as that supply allows. We will all work to get this vaccine out as soon as possible,” MCPH said in a statement.
DHHS announced Wednesday an updated and simplified prioritization list for distribution. North Carolina is on track to receive about 120,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine each week throughout the month of January.
The state is currently vaccinating “Phase 1A,” which includes healthcare workers and long-term care staff and residents who are at risk.
As of Dec. 31, at least 5,577 people had received their first dose of vaccine in Mecklenburg County, according to state public health officials.
Most healthcare providers will move into “Phase 1B” — the phase allotted for adults 75 years or older and frontline essential workers who are 50 years old or older, such as firefighters, police officers, grocery store workers and teachers — by the week of Jan. 11, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen said during a news conference Wednesday.
Phase “1B” could include up to 2 million North Carolinians, Cohen said, stressing that the process will require patience. Given the size of shipments to the state, North Carolina likely will not reach Phase 4, when vaccinations should be available for anyone who wants one, until the Spring of 2021, she said.
Here is NCDHHS’ updated timeline for vaccination rollout:
Phase 1A: Health care workers fighting COVID-19 & Long-Term Care staff and residents.
Health care workers caring for and working directly with patients with COVID-19, including staff responsible for cleaning and maintenance in those areas
Health care workers administering vaccine
Long-term care staff and residents—people in skilled nursing facilities and in adult, family and group homes.
Phase 1b: Adults 75 years or older and frontline essential workers.
There is not enough vaccine for everyone in this phase to be vaccinated at the same time. Vaccinations will be available to groups in the following order.
Group 1: Anyone 75 years or older, regardless of health status or living situation
Group 2: Health care workers and frontline essential workers 50 years or olderThe CDC defines frontline essential workers as first responders (e.g., firefighters and police officers), corrections officers, food and agricultural workers, U.S. Postal Service workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, and those who work in the education sector (teachers and support staff members) as well as child care workers.
Group 3: Health care workers and frontline essential workers of any age
Phase 2: Adults at high risk for exposure and at increased risk of severe illness.
Vaccinations will happen by group in the following order:
Group 1: Anyone 65-74 years old, regardless of health status or living situation
Group 2: Anyone 16-64 years old with high-risk medical conditions that increase risk of severe disease from COVID such as cancer, COPD, serious heart conditions, sickle cell disease, Type 2 diabetes, among others, regardless of living situation
Group 3: Anyone who is incarcerated or living in other close group living settings who is not already vaccinated due to age, medical condition or job function.
Group 4: Essential workers not yet vaccinated.The CDC defines these as workers in transportation and logistics, water and wastewater, food service, shelter and housing (e.g., construction), finance (e.g., bank tellers), information technology and communications, energy, legal, media, and public safety (e.g., engineers), and public health workers.
Phase 3: Students
College and university students
K-12 students age 16 and over. Younger children will only be vaccinated when the vaccine is approved for them.
Phase 4: Everyone who wants a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination.