CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - As North Carolina prepares to vaccinate teachers and educators, Mecklenburg County warns people that the supply distributed remains extremely limited.
On Wednesday, Gov. Cooper announced the state is moving to Group 3, meaning that starting on Feb. 24, educators, school staff, childcare providers in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
“This is great news but it is also very challenging for us who are providing vaccines because the amount of vaccines available to us is still very limited,” Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Gibbie Harris said.
Many teachers at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools have been pushing to get the vaccine before returning to the classroom.
CMS schools will return to the classroom next week.
“We will be working with our vaccine partners to figure out the best way to get vaccines out to these populations and to make sure we are continuing to vaccinate those in the first two groups who have had accessed vaccines yet,” Harris said.
Harris says, right now, the priority is to provide those included in Groups 1 and 2 the vaccine, which includes healthcare workers, those ages 65 years and older and staff and residents at long-term facilities.
With teachers and school and childcare providers getting priority next, the governor said that other essential workers can be vaccinated as early as March 10.
“I’m assuming the state has specific reasons for making the decisions to start with teachers and childcare workers,” Harris said. “As always, we have been consistent in working through the state’s guidelines and we will continue to do that at this time. I would find it extremely difficult to prioritize one specific group over another.”
As of Wednesday, more than 79,000 vaccine doses have been administered in Mecklenburg County.
Harris says that is only about seven percent of the county’s population.
“If we have more vaccines, we can vaccinate more people,” Harris said
Starting this weekend, Harris says some Walgreens in North Carolina will be administering the vaccine. However, the health director says the pharmacy will only get about 100 doses per week.
The state will also be getting a five percent increase in vaccines from the federal government.
“We are pleased that there are some federal efforts to increase the amount of vaccine in our community,” Harris said. “We hope that continues to increase or allocation in Mecklenburg County.”
frontline workers on vaccine backburner
im assuming the state has specific reasons for making the descions to start with teachers and childcare workers. As always, we have been consistent in working through the state’s guidelines and we will continue to do that at this time. i would find it extremely difficult to prioritize one specific group over another.