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All North Carolinians 16 And Over Will Be Eligible For Vaccine On April 7, Gov. Cooper Announces

Employees of the City of Greenville, NC received the COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination event at Jaycee Park.
Aaron Hines
City of Greenville, via Flickr
Employees of the City of Greenville, N.C., receive the COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination event at Jaycee Park in March. On March 25, 2021, Gov. Cooper announced that all North Carolinians 16 years and older are eligible to receive a vaccine starting April 7.

In a public briefing on Thursday, Governor Roy Cooper announced an acceleration in the pace of vaccine eligibility in the state.

As of April 7, all North Carolinians over the age of 16 will become eligible for the vaccine. Residents can visit for more information about where to find a local vaccine provider.

Answering questions from the media, State Health Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said only the Pfizer vaccine is currently authorized for emergency use for 16 and 17-year-olds.

On March 31, the state will open vaccine appointments for the remaining subgroups of Group 4. Cooper said that includes "essential workers in commercial services such as hospitality and retail, chemical and pharmaceutical facilities, construction, housing and real estate and other essential sectors."

Cooper said 4.3 million doses of COVID vaccine have been distributed in the state and almost one-third of the adult population has received at least one shot.

"We’ve been faster and have gotten more supply than we had anticipated, and that’s fantastic," said Cooper, explaining the accelerated pace of vaccine eligibility.

When asked, Cohen would not specify a target for the rate of North Carolinians who must be vaccinated before the state will fully reopen.

"We have to remember the wildcard," said Cohen in reference to the mutating nature of the virus.

As of Thursday, the state has seen 2,112 new daily cases of coronavirus. Over 900 individuals are currently hospitalized for COVID-19 in the state and 11,987 people have died of COVID since the beginning of the pandemic.

The state currently has a 4.2% positivity rate for cases, which is below the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services' goal rate of 5%.

In Thursday's briefing, state officials also announced a new "Healthier Together" partnership with the NC Counts Coalition aimed at ensuring communities of color and marginalized communities have equitable access to the vaccine.

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