MOORESVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) - Frontline essential workers are now next in line to make appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday that frontline essential workers will be eligible for their vaccine earlier than expected -- on March 3. The state will begin expanding vaccine eligibility to Group 4 on March 24.
Scott Pascoe, the sales manager at Advanced Industrial is now one step closer to getting his first dose. He and dozens of other employees at his job are eligible because they work in manufacturing.
Advanced Industrial machines precision components that go in a high-resolution camera used by scientists to map the coronavirus, which led to the rapid development of vaccines and other therapeutics.
“Our customers were involved in the early trials of the vaccine. We also do parts for the government for the Department of Defense and various agencies within the government,” Pascoe said.
Advanced Industrial CEO and President Paul Cedrone said thankfully all of the employees were able to keep their jobs through the course of this pandemic. He says they were able to maintain without any layoffs or cutbacks.
With such critical jobs, they’re on-site every day making items and working with customers to develop several items including high-resolution cameras and electron microscopes that have been used to map the spike protein found in the Coronavirus. Cedrone says it’s that same technology and findings which helped with vaccine development.
For over thirty years, Duncan Butler has been driving trucks across the country delivering essential goods. His workload has picked up now more than ever with the pandemic. He also started his own trucking company Dot 2 Dot Logistics in January where he delivers items like water, food, and paper products.
“There’s nothing that you can do that hasn’t been brought in on a truck,” Butler said.
Before and after hearing the Governor’s announcement about Group 3, both men were excited knowing they could be getting the vaccine sooner than they thought.
“If I would be in tomorrow I would actually be in line early in the morning,” Butler said.
“They’re ready to go. I think that the minute we all found out we could go we would’ve gone right then if we could,” Pascoe said.
As a COVID-19 survivor, this is crucial for Butler who travels across the country daily interacting with various customers.
“Being out here traveling all over the country coming into contact with different people, my biggest fear is bringing home to my family,” Butler said. ”I want to make sure I do everything possible that I can to protect those that I come in contact with.”
For Pascoe, it’s not just about protecting himself, but his colleagues and family too.
“I have a family of five and the fact that they’re all going to be safe at some point because of this kind of thing is pretty cool,” Pascoe said.