Aging Well

Aging Well

Current news on COVID vaccine distribution plan

Posted December 4, 2020 8:45 a.m. EST
Updated December 5, 2020 8:15 a.m. EST

Earlier this week, the positivity test rate for COVID in North Carolina was 11.4%, well above the state target of 5%. The countries most successful in containing COVID have rates of 3% or less.

In a press conference Thursday, Dr. Mandy Cohen announced that the first 85,000 doses of Pfizer's vaccine could be sent to North Carolina as early as December 15, less than two weeks away. Preliminary results suggest that Pfizer's vaccine is more than 90 percent effective. This vaccine consists of an initial shot and a booster three weeks later.

The first to receive the vaccination, as part of Phase 1A, will be health care workers that care for or clean areas occupied by COVID-19 patients. The Pfizer vaccines are shipped in packages of 1,000. There are 120 hospitals in North Carolina. The larger hospitals that serve higher numbers of patients will be prioritized.

Cohen said they expect a larger shipment in the second week, especially if Moderna's vaccine is authorized for emergency use. Moderna, like Pfizer, requires an initial shot and a booster four weeks later. Those will also go to health care workers, as well as staff in long-term care settings. It is estimated that between 140,000 and 161,000 workers would be eligible.

North Carolinians at higher risk of COVID residing in longterm care facilities, family care homes and other congregate care communities would receive vaccinations as part of Phase 1B.

More than 70,000 participated in trials of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to ensure safety. Vaccinations will be free, whether you have medical insurance or not.

Visit here to read North Carolina's 148 page vaccine distribution plan.

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