Raleigh, North Carolina -On Monday, teachers and school staff in Group 3A of the North Carolina Vaccine Promotion Center can register for the vaccine in Wake County.
Each county will distribute the vaccine to school and nursery staff in a different way, and the vaccine is expected to start on Wednesday. Starting Monday, people who want to register for vaccines in Wake County can visit akegov.com/vaccine to fill out the online application form, or call the 24/7 vaccine hotline at 919-250-1515.
People must answer “yes” to one of the following questions to register:
- Are you 65 years old?
- Are you a medical staff?
- Do you work in a childcare center or a school from kindergarten to 1
- Do you have to be in person at the workplace?
Once enough vaccines are available, people on the waiting list will be contacted via email, phone or text message. They can then make an appointment online or over the phone to get the vaccine. The second dose appointment will be scheduled at the first appointment.
North Carolina has been vaccinating seniors over 65 and long-term care residents and employees for several months.
In early February, Governor Roy Cooper stated that all K-12 school personnel and anyone engaged in childcare work will be vaccinated from February 24. All other front-line “essential” workers, such as police, firefighters and grocery store workers, must wait until March 10 to start vaccinations.
The governor said that it is necessary to subdivide Group 3 into the state’s vaccination priorities to balance the limited vaccine supply with the state’s large number of frontline workers.
North Carolina receives only 150,000 doses of vaccine from the federal government every week, and there are approximately 240,000 public school personnel in the state.
Previously, state officials said they had no plans to divide Group 3 into smaller departments and prioritize certain professions. But Cooper said that putting teachers in front of Group 3 was just a pragmatic approach.
He said: “In a large team in Group 3, all these important frontline staff suddenly fell into a system crash, which is worrying,” he said. “Starting with a small number of first-line basic workers in Group 3 can help providers simplify the distribution of vaccines.”
The governor said that group 3 could be further subdivided in the coming weeks based on the flow of vaccines into the state.
State Minister of Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen said that providers can go to school or workplace for injections, or they can specify a certain day of the week that only educators or other frontline workers can get the vaccine. She said that the state’s vaccination tracking system will soon allow employers to upload employee information to pre-register them.
However, Cohen warned that the qualifying dates of February 24 and March 10 do not necessarily mean that people will start shooting at that time. She said people in Group 1 or Group 2 in some counties waited a long time for the list. For example, there are more than 80,000 people on the list in Wake County, so teachers and other frontline workers will have to wait for their turn.
The Wake County Department of Public Health only makes daily appointments for approximately 2,000 people at its three mass vaccination sites (PNC Arena, Wake County Public Health Center, and Wake County Public Buildings). Duke Health, UNC REX and WakeMed Health and Hospitals also provide vaccines and some local pharmacies.
Learn how to get the vaccine in your area.
Laura Leslie, Director of the WRAL Parliament Buildings Bureau, and WRAL anchor/reporter Adam Owens provided assistance for this report.