Raleigh, North Carolina – On Monday, North Carolina Vaccine Launch Group 3A teachers and school employees can sign up to receive a vaccine in Wake County.
Each county will distribute vaccines to school and child care workers differently, with vaccinations expected to begin Wednesday. Beginning Monday, individuals who wish to register for a vaccine in Wake County can visit wakegov.com/vaccine to complete an online application form or call the 24/7 Vaccine Hotline at 919-250-1515 .
Individuals will need to answer “yes” to one of the following questions to register:
- Are you 65 or older?
- Are you a healthcare worker?
- Do you work in childcare or a preschool through 12th grade school?
- Do you have to be in person at your workplace?
Once enough vaccines are available, people on the waiting list will be contacted by email, phone, or text message. They can then make an appointment online or by phone to get their vaccination. Appointments for the second dose will be scheduled at the first appointment.
North Carolina has been vaccinating people 65 and older and residents and long-term care staff for months.
In early February, Governor Roy Cooper said that all K-12 school personnel and anyone who works in child care will be eligible for vaccines beginning February 24. All other “essential” front-line workers, such as police officers, firefighters and grocery store workers, will have to wait until March 10 to start getting vaccinated.
Group 3 needs to be subdivided on the state’s vaccination priority list, the governor said, to balance the limited supply of vaccines with the large number of frontline workers in the state.
North Carolina receives only 150,000 doses of vaccine each week from the federal government, and the state has about 240,000 public school employees.
Previously, state officials said they had no plans to divide Group 3 into smaller units and prioritize some professions over others. But Cooper said putting teachers in front of Group 3 was just pragmatic.
“There has been concern about all of these essential frontline workers in a large group, in Group 3, suddenly crashing into the system, that that would be problematic,” he said. “Starting with fewer essential Group 3 workers helps providers optimize vaccine delivery.”
Group 3 could be further subdivided in the coming weeks, depending on the flow of vaccines to the state, the governor said.
State Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said providers could go to schools or the workplace to administer vaccines, or they could designate a specific day of the week that only educators or other front-line workers could receive the vaccines. The state’s immunization tracking system will soon allow employers to upload employee information for pre-registration, he said.
Cohen cautioned, however, that the eligibility dates of February 24 and March 10 do not necessarily mean that people will begin receiving vaccines at that time. Some counties have long waiting lists of Group 1 or Group 2 people still waiting for their vaccinations (Wake County’s list has more than 80,000 people, for example), so teachers and other front-line workers will have to wait your turn, he said.
Wake County Public Health has been vaccinating approximately 2,000 people a day by appointment at its three mass vaccination sites: PNC Arena, the Wake County Public Health Center, and the Wake County Commons Building. Vaccines are also available at Duke Health, UNC REX, and WakeMed Health and Hospitals, along with some local pharmacies.
Find out how to get vaccinated in your area.
WRAL Head of the Capitol Office Laura Leslie and WRAL anchor / reporter Adam Owens contributed to this report.