State News

North Carolina unveils plan to deploy coronavirus vaccine

Posted October 16, 2020 5:25 p.m. EDT
Updated October 16, 2020 8:35 p.m. EDT

FILE - This September 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the company. A late-stage study of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate has been paused while the company investigates whether a study participant’s “unexplained illness” is related to the shot, the company announced Monday, Oct. 12, 2020. (Cheryl Gerber/Courtesy of Johnson & Johnson via AP, File)

— North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services unveiled a plan Friday in which it described the residents it will prioritize when a coronavirus vaccine gets approved and becomes available.

“We anticipate that populations of focus for initial COVID-19 vaccination will likely be the critical workforce that provides healthcare and maintains essential functions of society, staff and residents in long-term care facilities, and people with two or more co-morbidities that put them at high risk for complications from COVID-19," the department wrote.

The state will also consider prioritizing specific locations with vulnerable populations or high rates of spread.

The detailed 148-page plan notes that the groups of people getting a vaccine first will be reevaluated over time. “Jurisdictions should anticipate that allocations may shift during the response based on supply, demand, and risk."

The federal government will be responsible for giving money to North Carolina's state, tribal and local health departments.

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