NC officials update lineup of who gets vaccinations
Gov. Roy Cooper and state health and safety officials provide a Dec. 30, 2020, update on the coronavirus outbreak in North Carolina and the state's response to it.
in 830 total cases, 8, 551 new cases reported 3339 people in the hospital and, sadly, 6729 who have died. Our prayers are with those who lost loved ones this year and who are fighting this cruel disease. Although overall testing was down is expected during the Christmas holidays, we saw the highest number of people in the hospital and record high percent positives, keeping people from getting sick and having to check into hospitals. That's an urgent priority. Right now. I'm asking every North Carolinian to double down on our prevention efforts and protect each other by wearing a mask, being responsible following the protocols and making good decisions. The latest recommendations from the White House Coronavirus Task Force offer stark warnings for those over 65 years old or with an underlying health conditions. The past force cautions that these people should not enter any indoor space where people aren't wearing mass and recommends having groceries and medicines delivered to avoid exposure. That's a lot. The recommendation stresses that gatherings of people not wearing mask, public or private simply are not safe. That's how prevalent this virus is right now, we must take thes recommendations from the White House and all safety precautions. Seriously, as our fatality numbers show starkly, this is a matter of life or death. As this pandemic continues to take lives and lively hoods, many people are struggling to make ends meet. Financial challenges air difficult at any time, but especially during the holidays. In an effort to ease some of that burden, I have signed an executive order to extend the state's eviction moratorium through January 31st of 2021. Too many families are living on the edge, trying to do the right thing, but left with impossible choices. This order will help them stay in their homes, which is essential to slowing the spread of the virus. Earlier this year, my administration created the Hope Program to help both renters struggling to make ends meet and landlords who depend on income. This program provides payments directly to landlords and utility companies, and over 21,000 runners so far have been notified that they're going to receive help amounting to $37.4 million. The overwhelming need for this assistance versus the money that we had meant the program program had to stop taking applications. But fortunately, help from Washington is finally on the way, and we look forward to opening it back up. Over the weekend, the president signed legislation that provides funding for vaccine distribution schools. Direct payments to individuals help for small businesses and hospitals. It includes a badly needed extension of federal unemployment assistance and direct payments to families that qualify. The federal package also includes funding specifically for rental assistance, and we expect North Carolina to receive about $700 million for that purpose. When North Carolina receives these resources, I plan to work with the General Assembly to help disperse it quickly and effectively. As we move ahead with getting the support to those who need it, we must not lose sight of our primary goal, preventing the spread of cove in 19 so we can save lives and revitalize our economy. We have to protect ourselves and each other every day, every week, every month. The vaccines offer hope, but this hope will take time to fulfill. We continue to distribute the vaccines across the state as quickly as we get them. We remain in the first phase one a vaccinating frontline, healthcare workers and staff and residents of our nursing home programs and long term care settings. Our hospitals and local health departments are working hard to get vaccine to people. There's a lot we have to do, including following the state's rules on the order of priority. It's a lot they have to do to do that. To follow those rules, Secretary Cohen and I have asked leaders from the states, clinical boards and associations to provide us with recommendations on the best way to enforce those vaccine priority rules. Now, I'm gonna ask Dr Mandy Cohen, our secretary of the Health Department of Health and Human Services, to share an update on our data and on our vaccine efforts. Doctor code. Thank you, Governor. This will be our last press briefing of 2020 and it's hard to believe that we have held more than 110 pandemic briefings this year. You've all heard me say the three W's ah lot, and as I reflect on this past year, you know, look, it's been incredibly challenging, but I'm also so proud of our state. All across North Carolina, people have been coming together to protect one another and save lives. While there's still so much to do, we head into 2021 with a powerful tool to stop this pandemic vaccines. Today, I'm gonna walk through the new phases of North Carolina's vaccine plan based on new federal recommendations that were just issued last week by the CDC Preventions Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices or a Sip. We have updated and simplified the state's vaccination prioritization plan. First, I just want to share some important information about vaccines. In general, we've been very fortunate that scientists had a head start. The vaccines that are now available were built upon years of work in developing vaccines for similar viruses. All vaccines a regular rigorously tested for safety and effectiveness. And more than 70,000 people volunteered in clinical trails right here in North Carolina as well for the two vaccines now available to make sure they were safe and work to prevent Cove in 19. To date, both vaccines that are currently available are 95% effective in preventing COVE in 19. There were no serious safety concerns in the clinical trials. With either vaccine, you could have temporary reactions like a sore arm or headache, or feel tired and achey for a day or two. But you cannot get co vid 19 from the vaccine. Vaccines will be available to everyone, but currently supplies are limited and will continue to be limited for the next few months. Therefore, states must make vaccines available in phases. You'll see, as I go through the phases that everyone has a spot to take their shot to save lives and slow the spread of cove in 19. The first phase is focused on protecting health care workers caring for patients with Cove in 19, protecting people who are at the highest risk of being hospitalized or dying and protecting those at highest risk of exposure to Cove in 19. So right now, we're currently in that first phase phase one A. Most of our hospitals received their first shipment of vaccine less than two weeks ago. Local health departments started receiving vaccine doses just last week, a few days just before Christmas. Together, they are vaccinating healthcare workers, caring for and working directly with patients with cove it 19, as well as those giving vaccines. The early data suggests that there is still work to be done to be sure that vaccines are administered administered equitably. Understandably, communities who have faced longstanding and continuing racial and ethnic and justice in our health care system may feel greater distrust towards vaccines. We are partnering with trusted community leaders and organizations to provide accurate information to all North Carolinians and also with our vaccine providers to ensure equitable access to vaccines. Long term care residents and staff are also being vaccinated. Right now, the federal government is overseeing that long term care vaccination through a partnership with Walgreens and CVS. This effort began on Monday, and data is not yet included in our vaccine dashboard. We anticipate moving to the next phase phase one B in early January. Currently, there is not enough vaccine for everyone in phase one B to be vaccinated at the same time. To best manage vaccine availability, we will open Phase one B in groups. We will add additional groups from phase one B over the month of January 1 at a time. Vaccines will first open to Group one, which is anyone 75 years or older, regardless of medical condition or living situation In Group two, it's our health care workers and frontline essential workers who are 50 years or older. They'll be added and next. This group will be followed by Group three, which are health care and other frontline workers of any age. Just like the previous phase, the groups in Phase two will begin one at a time. Vaccines in Phase two will open first to anyone ages 65 through 74 regardless of medical condition or living situation. Next will come to anyone 16 to 64 with a medical condition that increases the risk of severe disease from Cove it they will be followed by anyone who's incarcerated or in a group setting. Um that has not already been vaccinated because they're part of an earlier phase or group do their age, medical condition or job function. Then vaccines will open to other essential workers as defined by the CDC, who have not yet been vaccinated, and phase three college, university and high school students 16 or older will be vaccinated. Younger Children will be vaccinated when the vaccine is approved. For them, it is not currently and in phase four. That's when anyone else who wants a Covad 19 vaccine could get one. But remember, with the limited supply of vaccine, we think this could be well into the spring. Okay, that was a lot to cover. All of these details are now outlined on our new vaccine Web page. Your spot, your shot dot n c dot gov Your shot. Your spot. Sorry, your spot, your shot, n c dot gov As we head into 2021. The vaccine is a powerful tool, but we also head into the new year in a very dangerous position. We are setting records for the percent of tests that are positive. We've been at 14% for the past several days. Hospitalizations are alarming, with record numbers in the hospital and record numbers in the intensive care unit. I'm very, very worried and talking regularly with our hospital leaders. The spread is so critical that the White House Coronavirus Task Force has issued stark warnings to North Carolina this week. If you are under the age of 40 and you gathered beyond your immediate household, you need to assume you became infected with Cove. It even if you don't have any symptoms. The task force warns that if you you are dangerous to others and must isolate away from anyone at increased risk for severe disease and get yourself tested, as the governor mentioned. The White House task force report also says that if you are over 65 or you have significant health conditions, you should not enter any indoor public spaces where anyone is unmasked and you could should have your groceries and medications delivered. We all have a responsibility. Be sure you are always wearing a mask. If you are with someone that you do not live with, you need to wear a mask over your mouth and your nose. Wait 6 ft apart and avoid gathering with people outside of your household. If you must keep it small, keep it outside and always wear a mask. Wash your hands often throughout the day where weight and wash our three W's. And whatever your reason, get behind the mask. Thank you, Governor. Thank you, Dr Cohen. Using the guidance from independent federal and state advisory committees, North Carolina continues to work to get this vaccine to people as quickly as possible. The vaccine, along with MAWR funding from the federal government, had provided a glimmer of hope that the end of a long year when we rang in 2020 we didn't expect to be closing it out in the grips of a global pandemic. But here we are. We have to seize our resolve and make it last. We've learned a great deal about how to combat code 19 since this virus emerged, but we also learned a lot about our communities and ourselves. Let's live up to our ideals by doing what we know. Works where a mask practice, social distancing. Avoid gatherings where the virus can be spread easily. And remember this New Year's Eve we still have a modified stay at home order in place from 10 p.m. To 5 a.m. Our collective New Year's resolution should be keeping each other safe in 2021. Most North Carolinians worked hard to care for one another in 2020. Let's continue those efforts and keep that spirit going as we turn the page on a new year and prepared to turn the corner on this pandemic. Also with me today is our Secretary of Public Safety, Eric Hooks, Department of Emergency Management Chief of Staff Will Ray and Prior Gibson, assistant secretary of commerce for the Division of Employment Security. Monica McGee and David Pain are a sign language interpreters and Jackie and Jasmine Motive er, our Spanish language interpreter's will now take questions from the media. And if you could give us your name and your organization, we would appreciate it. We'll take the first question. Our first question is from Richard Craver with the Winston Salem Journal. Yes, our governor, this is Richard Trevor with the Winston Salem Journal had one question for yourself. But in one question, for Secretary Cohen, the first question kind of focuses on the issue of the vaccination. I know that trying to put out the numbers in terms off how much I expect to receive how much you're actually just distributing. But can you come and give us an update of where that stands? I guess, other today and then with Secretary, uh, in terms of your negotiations, the discussions with Cornel Innovations, innovations about very hard for us to hear your voice is muffled. Uh, can you Can you try it again? And it just asked me that first question again. Okay. I'm sorry. Uh, okay. I was wanting to find out Um where things stand or of an update about where the expectation for the doses from both Pfizer and, um we're gonna are at this point. And then I was also when I asked Secretary Cohen about this, she had an update. Don't work. Discussions stand involved with cardinal innovations in the six counties that are looking to leave cardinals. So we have the Pfizer vaccine that has begun to come in. And we distributed that the hospitals, the Moderna vaccine came in ah, week later, and we've used that to begin distributing to nursing homes, long term care facilities and staff because they're less issues to deal with regarding, uh, the preservation of it and the handling of it. But I'll let Dr Cohen address that. And the other question Hi, Richard. Governor is exactly right. So we continue to get a weekly allocation of both the Madonna and the Pfizer vaccine. Um, the allocations that we got the first couple of weeks are definitely lower. As we go forward, we think we'll be getting about 60,000 of doses of each of the vaccine, give or take. Um, as we go forward, remember, some of those need to be used for our long term care vaccination program. The rest are being distributed between our hospitals and our local health department. As we move from this one phase one A into one, be on. And then we will expand to other providers as we get into January as faras Cardinal Innovations, yes, are are, um, department continues to work through the process of of folks who have asked us to disengage with cardinal. Um, I know our teams are reviewing that information, and I don't have any further update. Thank you. Next question, please. Our next question is from Michael Highland with CBS 17. Hi. Good afternoon. This is Michael Highland from CBS 17. I want to ask first about the updated list. You all just went over for, um, distributing the vaccine. Ah, couple questions related to that. How are you defining who in essential worker is and why are people who are incarcerated prioritized where they are, including above students and the general public? Well, first, we have relied heavily on the c d. C advisory committee recommendations, and they just recently changed in the last couple of weeks. Uh, they began looking at the statistics of who was getting sick and dying, and age was a factor that was pretty significant, that affected whether people would get really sick and die. Age is also a much easier thing to be able to tell about somebody where rather than whether a person has a lot of chronic problems or not. So they put in this new advice based upon people's age, and our people looked at it. We are state advisory committee, looked at it, and ours follows pretty closely what the C. D. C. Recommendation is. And our definition of essential workers, uh, follows pretty closely what the CDC says. We know that, uh, people who are incarcerated that the risk is significantly higher in Congress care facilities. Uh, people by age, in in, uh, our prisons will get vaccine just as other people reached that age spot. But then it comes in in the second part of phase two, and I'll let Dr Cohen address that. Even Mawr, Dr Cohen. Thanks, governor. Hi, Michael. So too, thanks to point out, um, at in the phases you needed to make the distinction between frontline essential workers and then other essential workers in phase one B. We do open to frontline essential workers, and that is defined by the C. D. C. You can find that on our our website. Now, this information is there s so you can know what categories of folks their frontline folks like firefighters, Police officers are K 12 teachers, uh, those who are working in child care, U S postal service, those air the categories that Aaron Frontline essential workers. Then there is another bucket of essential workers that is captured in phase two, also defined by, uh, the C D. C. Um, so I would encourage folks to go look for the details there, Um, and yes, as the governor mentioned related to incarcerated populations or any populations living in congregate setting, there is a higher risk of viral transmission in those settings. We wanna make sure that folks have access to that vaccine whether they fall into that category because of their age. So if you are, uh, in a congregate setting and you're over 75 you'll be prioritized, uh, for vaccine or by job, or when we get to age of 65 to 74. And if you're not picked up in those or because of medical status then That is when you would get picked up in our phase two grouping of those who live in other congregate settings. Thank you. Next question, please. Yeah. Okay. They're gonna have Okay, well, hang on for one minute. Thio, wait until they reconnect with the questioning. I'll also mention, while we're waiting for the line to get hooked back up that this is a complex process of preparing the vaccines and getting people trained on how to administer it. And we're just into this. Ah, couple of weeks and we asked people to be as patient as you can with your health department officials and your hospital workers. These were people who have been fighting this battle now since March. And it's a workforce that has been strained that has been working hard day in, day out. And now they have this logistical issue of being a having toe. Make sure that people get vaccinated with a complex process. People with Pfizer need to get vaccinated and then vaccinated again. 21 days later, Moderna vaccinated. And 28 days later, Okay. So just be patient with them as they're working. Thio get their logistics started on the ground. We're trying to provide them with asthma, much support as we can, and look forward to continuing to work with our health departments and our hospitals, uh, to get this vaccine vaccine out as quickly as we way possibly can I think we are reconnected on this question is from more Leslie, the wrl Laura, are you on the line? Yes. I'm sorry. Yes, I did a follow up to my previous question there. Um, so does the state or the federal government need to take a more? I'm wondering. I know they're going to hospitals to health department to these, uh, you know, facilities via the federal program. But it seems to people who are sitting around waiting for these shots that it's moving at a glacial pace. Thank you. So we didn't hear all of your question, Laura, but I think it had to do with the speed of the vaccines and remember that they've been delivered to us about two weeks ago. And we have directed that they go toe hospitals first and also directed that they go to CVS and Walgreen that are administering this program on behalf of the federal government at our long term, uh, nursing homes, long term care facilities and staff. But I'll also let Dr Cohen address the issue of speed of vaccinations. Hi, Laura. I think everyone across the state that is working on vaccine administration wants to make sure we can get vaccine to people that needed as quickly as possible, as the governor mentioned, it has been less than two weeks since we've had vaccine here in in North Carolina. The majority of hospitals got those vaccines two weeks from tomorrow. And like I said, some of our local health departments did not receive their first round of delivery until last Wednesday, the day before Christmas Eve. So we know that we're ramping up over the course of this week and we will move into the next phase of vaccinating are 75 year olds and above next week, Um, and in the weeks beyond, so I know that there is going to be a maturing of this process as we go forward. It's new for all of us. Eso we wanna make sure that we are tracking appropriately because as the governor mentioned, not only are you needing to get that first does, but you have to come back to get the second one. So it is important that we take the time in the care, uh, to make sure that we are, um uh, administering the first dose appropriately and making sure that you have that time to come back for your second dose. Eso we are gonna make sure that we are ramping up and, uh, improving our operations as as we go. Um, but I would I would remind everyone that there are very limited supplies at this point as we move into phase one B. If you think about how large a group that is of folks who are over 75 all of our frontline essential workers, that's that's that's more than a million folks. Um, and that is not the number of doses we have here. Um, it could be up to two million people who are in that 1st, 1st group of of one B s. So it's going to take some time for us to get vaccine to everyone. Um, I'll echo what the governor said, which is we appreciate everyone being patient a za We work through this process and just know that these are the same health departments in the same hospitals that right now are are strained with the most number of covert patients that they've seen throughout this pandemic. And so we appreciate everyone's patients. Thanks. Next question, please. Our next question is from Laura Lee with Carolina Public Press. Good afternoon, Governor Loralee from Carolina Public Press. Um, as we saw last week with atrium distribution, there were some people who were notified that they were eligible when they didn't qualify, and they were offered the vaccine. Um, in that process, the hospitals have been permitted to determine their prioritization in terms of deciding who should receive the vaccine under your guidelines. I'm just wondering, as it pertains to the frontline essential workers, um, who is going to make the determination about who will qualify, for example, as a food worker, which is one of the categories, Um, are there safeguards by the state to ensure that you know there's fairness and equity and making those determinations? We realized that there aren't absolute precise lines here in describing all of these categories, but we think it's very important that providers and people who are administering this vaccine stick to the priority list, and we're gonna be very stern about that, making sure that they do. Dr. Cohen and I have, uh, sent notice to some of the health care licensing boards to talk about what type of, uh, discipline could be put into place for providers who, uh, do not abide by this priority system. We think that is extremely important for people to do, and we've done because we've done it for a reason. But I also want Dr Cohen to comment about this. Hi, Laura. Well, first, I want to say that we keep reiterating we're two weeks into this. I think folks are learning about the parameters of our guidance. When we heard about the atrium situation, our team reached out to their leadership team. They're very receptive and adjusted their process going forward, which we appreciated. Um and so we are very serious about folks following the state's priority prioritization. We are updating it today. So now folks have clear guidance from us going forward. Um, and we have asked whether it was the nursing board, the medical board, our pharmacy board or dental board to meet with them and as well as their corresponding associations to make recommendations back to us about enforcement. We can't have folks, um, jumping the line and having their family members or friends, board members, donors jumping the line and and importantly, cannot see folks profiting financially. These vaccines are free. They're meant to be free for those who are getting that vaccine. And if we see folks who are trying to profit financially from that, that that will not be tolerated. So we look forward to the recommendations back from from those boards eso that we all are just playing by the same rules across our state banks. Next question. Please follow up. Laura. Leave Carolina Public Press. Thanks for that, Governor. As to the health care workers, I'm still curious, though, about essential frontline essential workers that are over 50. And so, if we're looking at things that, um, you know, perhaps they're a bit more subjective. For example, postal workers you know whether or not you work in a post office is a pretty objective thing to define. But things like grocery stores how grocery store will be defined, how a worker and a grocery store who's considered front line will be defined are those decisions that you anticipate will be made by the businesses themselves. Or will there there be state either guidelines or requirements in terms of affecting who what individuals in the front line positions will be given vaccine? As this process unfolds operationally on the ground, I know that we will be making some decisions and adjustments as we go. Because, yes, there are difficult decisions that are gonna have to be made at the local level. We want them to stay within the guidelines as much as they possibly can. Will provide help in providing descriptions to them is to precisely who fits into the category. But these are broad categories, and there are gonna have to be some decisions made at the local level by people administering this vaccines as to whether someone falls into the category or not. And, uh, that's just something that we know is going to happen because it cannot be perfect and precise. Dr. Cohen. She says that covers it. Thanks. Next question. Our next question comes from Garrett Burke with Berkowitz with spectrum news. Captain. Good afternoon. Uh, Governor and Dr Cohen, uh, Dr Cohen, you mentioned earlier the issue of equity and distributing these vaccines and, uh, I apologized. Someone already asked us when we were having some phone issues earlier Looking over your initial vaccination data. Uh, the initial data show that about 80% of those who were vaccinated are white, and about 50% are in that. 25 to, I believe, 49 age range. What's going on there and what sort of efforts you have underway Toe try toe. Bring those numbers a lot more in line with, uh, North Carolina's demographics as a whole. Garrett, thanks so much. And as I mentioned in my opening remarks, I think there is work to do here to make sure that we are distributing vaccines equitably. There's unfortunate, longstanding history of racial and, um, uh, injustice that is built into our medical system. And we need to make sure that we are proactively trying to overcome that from the beginning. As we look at our early data, I would caution everyone to recognize that that is just a week's worth of data at this point. Um, but I think there is definitely work to do to make sure that we are, um, getting that equitable distribution. That is why we're working closely with partners that are community based organizations from our historically marginalized populations working closely with members of the General Assembly and other leaders, um, from the faith community who represents, um, communities to make sure they're getting good information about the vaccine so they can make informed decisions for them and their family. Um, we want to make sure folks know that this vaccine is safe. It has been tested in clinical trials. It is effective. It is 95% effective. You cannot get co vid from the vaccine itself. There is only one vaccine for everybody. Um, it is the same vaccine for everyone. Um, there obviously are two kinds fighter one and a Madonna, but they're the same for everyone. So we wanna make sure folks are getting that good information, and we're gonna keep sharing that good information. But then we also have to work to make with our our trusted partners, um, to make sure folks know about the availability of vaccines and when it is their spot in line, that they come take their shot. Thanks. Thanks. Next question, please. Our next question is from Don Von with the News and Observer by John von with a news observer. Thanks for taking my questions. Just what you were saying about spot in line, what's being done to fix the problems that UNC and elsewhere about registering the right people in the right order to get vaccinated when they should. And you mentioned asking the board for discipline options what can be done now as faras accountability and oversight before these vaccines are given out to make sure they go in the right order like, say, a custodian that works with co location. Yeah, thanks for that. Obviously, we are working to make sure folks understand the guidance, reiterating it in, um further and further detail working with the individual organizations answering questions, make sure ing everyone is on the same page. And I will say folks have been very receptive. If there is something that we have seen that we believe is not in line with those guidance, um, they get a call from me or my senior team, and I have found folks to be incredibly receptive to then come back into the guidelines. So I think everyone is trying to do their their best to stay in this priority order, and that's what we want to keep seeing. But we recognize with anything big effort like this, there are opportunities for someone to stray from that for jumping the line, whether it was a family member, a donor, a board member and particularly concerned about seeing anyone profit financially from this. Um, and that is exactly why we've asked our licensing boards and other associations. Toe. Look at this. I think they they have some tools, or we need to be open to the possibility that we need additional authority to make sure that we we are enforcing these rules on DWI will work with the General Assembly to make sure that that that might be possible. Thank you. Next question. Please follow up. Don von News and Observer. Hi. Thanks for the follow up. Um, you mentioned working in the General Assembly. Is there any authority that you or any state agency has now, as far as enforcement of the rules and penalties, you know, depending on what happens and the circumstances of someone breaking this priority list and what happened, there may be some current rules. Ethics rules that, uh, professionals need to abide by that could be broken. Uh, with the priority. But I've I've already talked toe legislative leaders this morning about this issue and talk with them about the potential of needing some legislative action to allow these boards mawr authority to enforce these rules. We're gonna wait thio, get the information back from the licensing boards and the associations to see what their input is and to see if we do need to go to the General Assembly, I think they will be receptive to something that we could come together with to make sure that we have something in place that we could enforce. I think is really important for everybody to stick, uh, to this priority list as much as possible. And we don't want to see people taking advantage of this because of their position. Next question, please. Our next question is from Claire Donnelly, W f A Hi. Governor and Secretary Cohen Claire Donnelly from W F A E in Charlotte. So, um, Secretary Cohen, could you tell me what exactly you asked atrium to Dio and then what? What should these big hospital systems dio if they have mawr vaccine doses than frontline workers to take them? Should they be distributing them thio their hospital systems in our their hospitals in more rural areas or what is like kind of What's the alternative? Sure. Thanks, Claire. I s atrium to follow our guidance. Um, and we had a very productive conversation, and I know that they changed their, um uh, some of the internal work they were doing going forward. And what we've asked if that hospitals have extra doses to also be vaccinating community based providers that may not be affiliated with them but our community based and are still working with co vid patients. So they're certainly outpatient providers, meaning they're not affiliated with the hospital but still work with co vid patients. We wanna make sure they're getting in to get vaccinated. Now they can get vaccinated through their local health departments. But we're hoping if hospitals have extra doses that they can partner together to do that. We've heard some very collaborative stories where hospitals said yet you know what I am done with my one A providers what? Where, how could I be helpful going next? And they've either transferred those doses to the local health department or have taken on some of the as I said outpatient providers, whether it's E. M t or E. M s workers, home health workers or others eso those partnerships are happening. And I love seeing that collaboration across our state. Eso We don't want vaccine to sit on the shelf. We want to make sure the appropriate folks are getting vaccinated. But it's also why we need to take the step forward into our next phase. Phase one B and that will start happening as of next week. And so, um, starting next week, we expect a number of providers to be able to move into, ah, starting to vaccinate those 75 or older. I I anticipate that most providers actually will movinto one be starting, probably the week of January 11th. Um, and I anticipate having more information about how patients or people who are 75 or older can navigate that process by next week. Thank you. Next question. Please welcome. Our next question is from Hannah Smooth with the Charlotte Observer. Hi, Governor could register Manus mood. I would just wanted to follow up on those questions that you've already gotten about atrium in the hospital following the plan. Have you gotten complaints from other big hospitals that, you know those hospitals may not be following that plan and and how many other hospitals have you had those types of conversations with? It's very important that the hospitals follow the priority guidance that our department has put forward. Ah, lot of work and thought has gone into it. Um, I'll let Dr Cohen address that. Thanks for that. I have conversations with heads of hospitals all of the time. Um, and we have heard different reports of folks saying Folks have strayed from the priority. And if if we hear that, we immediately get on the phone with folks and remind folks what the priority orders are, I do want to remind everyone Like I said, we're less than two weeks into this. I I think folks are working in very good faith. They're trying to work fast, to get vaccine into, uh, folks who are in the priority order. Um, it's not perfect process. If there are, things do happen, we make sure to follow up and try to make sure they understand what the guidance waas. I think this is exactly why we're trying to be as clear as we can about what the priority groups are going forward. I think we've also tried to simplify the priority, um, groups as we go forward. So it's really, um, can be more clear to folks as we go forward and then Thio have our. As I said, our associations and licensing boards make some recommendations back to us. Thank you. One other thing I think it's important to point out, is that the CDC advisory committee had a priority list that was different than what we have today. And in fact, they changed their priority list on Lee a couple of weeks ago. So we have changed. Our priority list is well, so I know that hospitals and Health Department spent time studying the previous priority list that was later changed. So I think everybody is getting familiar with this new priority list that is in place. And I think everybody is diligent trying to work hard to make sure this thing is done right. Next question, please. Our final question is from Brian Anderson with the associative press. Hi, Governor. Hi, Dr Cohen. Brian Anderson here with the AP and hopeful Teoh a better 2021 going ahead. Uh, I just wanted to ask sort of about vaccine distribution. It's been my understanding that the Trump administration would provide a new allotment number every Tuesday and going to say it would have till eight PM Friday Toe sort of Tell the feds where to send them, how maney vaccine doses has a state received in weeks three and weeks for, uh, for distribution. And I know Dr Cohen mentioned 60,000 and Pfizer and Madonna to be expected for weeks. Why the slowdown and what's been the the way that you'd attribute it to. And then I have one quick follow up after. Hi, Brian. Um, I'm excited. You got the last question of the calendar year here. Um and I think you you have it exactly right in terms of the details. Each week on Tuesdays, we get an allocation amount from the federal government. Between Tuesday and Friday, we create our our our own allocation where we basically need to tell the federal government where should they ship that allocation to? We work with our providers to make sure that they're ready to take on additional vaccine. Um, and we we make sure to balance those doses across our geography. We're trying to balance that by population in the county at this point, so we want to make sure we're having the approximately same number of doses poorer county population, um, and then make sure that we get that distribution. So, for example, if we have one county that has three hospitals and one local health department, there is a certain allocation to that county. And then we distributed to the various hospitals and local health department. Now this isn't a perfect system because of the way the vaccine is packaged. I've said many times before the Pfizer vaccine is packaged in units of 975. The Madonna come in packages of 100. It just means that the math can't ever be perfect. But what we expect going forward and what we have seen this week is that we're getting about and again the numbers up, up and down a little bit. But essentially about 60,000 moderna, 60,000 Pfizer vaccine. Sometimes it's 70. Sometimes it's a little lower, uh, each week going forward, and that's what we anticipate. Through the month of January, eso about 120,000 new doses each week. But remember, we then need to make an allocation over to our CVS and Walgreens effort that is vaccinating our long term care staff and residents, and then the rest we used to distribute across the state. Thanks, Brian O Brien, you had a follow up. That's very helpful. Could you just sort of explain what you attribute to slow down Thio? We know there was. We're talking about 100,000 plus doses of Madonna and 80,000 in the First Wave. Advisor. Is this a shipping issue? And I know Virginia just up north. They provide the numbers and it's public facing dashboard on how many, Uh, it is receiving. Well, North Carolina do that as well. Yeah, so a couple of things, I think this is more of them. You know, again, these air better questions for the federal government in terms of how did they decide on the slightly larger allocations in the first couple of weeks, I I assume that that is related to the manufacturing and production of this that they had Mawr produced and and waiting to ship. And then as we get into this more steady state, it's sort of their manufacturing and shipping as they go. But again, I think that's a better question for the federal government related Thio. Um, why we started with a bit of a higher allocation and now we're kind of at a slightly lower allocation as we as we go hero. And then I think the question was, Are you going to be sharing our allocations week over week and we'd be happy to share that. But what I would encourage folks to understand is that, you know, these aren't perfect numbers here either. Remember, there are there certain vials and we make some estimates about how many doses we think we get when that happens in reality, hopefully we get more doses actually out of those vials than, uh than what are shipped to us. So we wanna make sure that we are really laser focused on how many doses are administered, because that is really the number that we are, um, are focused on, which is why that is our priority for our public facing dashboard. Thanks, Brian. Thanks everybody for joining us today and have a happy and safe New Year