Frontline essential workers weigh in on becoming eligible for vaccine within weeks

VACCINE TEAM: Frontline essential workers weigh in on becoming eligible for vaccine within weeks

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - In just a few weeks, North Carolina will move into the next phase of COVID-19 vaccinations.

Next up for the shot is Group 3, compromised of essential frontline workers. Governor Cooper announced that the state will be splitting up Group 3 due to a lack of vaccine supply.

NCDHHS is prioritizing school and daycare staff starting on February 24.

It will then move onto the rest of the workers Group 3 starting March 10.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Officer Jessica Christy works with the public every day, but she also returns home to care for her aunt.

“Her immune system is not the best so it always makes me nervous,” Officer Christy said.

She’s excited at the prospect of getting the vaccine as early as March 10, when groups including grocery store workers, law enforcement officers and homeless shelter staff are eligible.

She said she believes prioritizing school staff is also important.

“They’re just as important as we are I think because they’re interacting with a lot of people,” she said. “As long as we’re all on the same team and not getting pushed to the bottom of a list, whatever that looks like, I’m on board with it.”

Meanwhile, Harris Teeter is offering incentives for grocery store workers to get their shot.

“We’re offering our associates a $100 payment if they receive both doses of the vaccine,” Harris Teeter spokesperson Danna Robinson said.

In homeless shelters, strict COVID-19 protocols have allowed them to keep working.

“We know that having a vaccination would just add another layer of protection,” Randall Hitt, with Roof Above, said.

Officer Christy is hopeful for that as well.

“It will be a box checked and we can move on hopefully,” she said.

Since the start of the pandemic roughly 270 CMPD employees have tested positive for COVID-19.

It affects daily staffing when officers are having to quarantine, and it’s another reason why some officers say they welcome the chance to get their shot.

According to Dr. Mandy Cohen with NCDHHS, they have not decided whether they will make more prioritizations within Group 3 come March 10, or whether the entire Group 3 can get the shot at that time.

Cohen says it will depend on vaccine supply.

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