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Workers in Group 3 eligible for Covid vaccine as 3rd shot expedites NC plan

Johnson & Johnson
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine arrives in NC Wednesday, March 3rd; state officials are now expediting the state vaccination plan.

A third vaccine against Covid-19 joins North Carolina’s arsenal starting Wednesday, March 3rd. The increased supply means state officials are expediting the vaccination plan.    


Eighty-thousand Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses are headed to North Carolina this week.  These come in addition to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines – and for that reason Governor Roy Cooper says all frontline essential workers in Group 3 are eligible for the vaccine Wednesday, March 3rd.  

"This includes first responders and emergency personnel such as police, firefighters, rescue workers, people who are working in manufacturing, food, and agriculture, grocery stores, government workers, and our clergy, among others.  Our essential frontline workers have remained on the job throughout the pandemic, and I’m grateful for their work."

Workers in restaurants and bars are also part of Group 3.  It’s a broad category; it includes anyone who must do their work in person and cannot work remotely.  


Some members of Group 4 become eligible March 24th – specifically those with medical conditions that create higher risk for serious illness. 


Officials also say they're expanding the definition of long-term care to include those receiving home care. Those with intellectual and developmental disabilities are part of the new definition.


When you do get the shot, officials say it’s critical to understand which vaccine you’re getting – whether it’s the one-dose Johnson & Johnson or the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.  


Even with a stable downward trend in Covid numbers across the state, the Covid variants are in North Carolina and still require vigilance with masks and social distancing, according to state health officials.


Update: Soon after the Governor made his announcement regarding expansion of eligibility, New Hanover County issued a statement saying they would continue to prioritize adults 65 and older as well as those who work in healthcare and education. The County does not plan to move fully into Group 3 until more people over 65 have received their shot.

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 4 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.