Could North Carolina move up vaccinations for people with underlying conditions?


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Right now, people in vaccine groups one, two and three are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

People with underlying conditions are still two weeks away from getting the shot. But that could change.

Some counties are ready to vaccinate group four, and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said the state is looking to see if the state can move Group 4 up so people with underlying conditions can get their vaccines sooner.

Kara Smith received a liver transplant when she was a baby. As an adult, being a transplant recipient didn’t cause much concern until COVID-19 came along.

“It wasn’t until the pandemic that it’s really become an issue again,” she explained.

Smith and others with underlying conditions that raise their risk of COVID-19 complications are looking forward to getting vaccines. They’re next in line and the state says they could get shots earlier than previously announced.

“Coming next are people with increased risk because of a medical condition,” noted Cohen. “We are continuing to talk to our vaccine providers all the time about making sure we are appropriately moving forward with due haste to get to all of our priority groups as quickly as possible.”

Some counties say they’re ready to move on to group 4, and the state is looking at options. “The latest we would go is March 24, but we would look to see if we could move that up sooner,” said Cohen.

Smith is looking forward to getting her vaccine but knows a lot of other people are too. “It’s so important for everybody to get the vaccination,” she said. “That will help protect us and help protect each other as well.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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