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First vaccine doses arrive in NC, Cooper asks feds for more lead time to handle future shipments

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The percent positivity rate for tests in NC is 11%, NHC is close to 10%.

At Tuesday afternoon's press conference, Governor Roy Cooper announced that the Covid-19 vaccine arrived in North Carolina on Monday. But he says the vaccines will not be available to the general public anytime soon and that coronavirus infection rates are continuing to rise. 

Cooper says that since the initial supply of the Pfizer vaccine is limited, healthcare workers and staff and residents of long-term care facilities are up first. And he says he looks forward to the possibility that the Food and Drug Administration will approve the Moderna vaccine on Thursday.

But he says he wants more clarity from the federal government on how many doses they can expect to receive:

“We’ve been told that each Friday we’ll get information about the following week’s shipment, giving the states just a few hours to direct where those shipments will go.”

Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen says the Pfizer vaccine is 95% effective in preventing the virus. She also wants the public to understand the basics of how these vaccines work:

“You can’t get Covid-19 from the vaccine itself. The vaccine imitates the infection so the body thinks it’s a germ like the virus is attacking. This creates the antibody defense to fight off Covid if and when the real germ attacks.”  

Both the Governor and Dr. Cohen say the Centers for Disease Control is advising people to stay home for the holidays -- and that they’re seeing a ‘staggering increase’ in the state’s pandemic trends. For example, hospitalization rates in the state have more than doubled in the past month.