COVID-19 Vaccine

2-1-1 IS NOT THE NUMBER TO CALL FOR VACCINE INFORMATION OR SCHEDULING. Continue reading for more information about the COVID-19 vaccine and how it is being distributed in North Carolina. 

Who will get the vaccine first? 

Because there are not enough vaccines for everyone to be vaccinated at the same time, the Department of Health and Human Services has organized distribution into the phases below: 

Phase 1a: Health care workers fighting COVID-19 and long-term care staff and residents. 

  • Health care workers caring for and working directly with patients with COVID-19, including staff responsible for cleaning and maintenance in those areas
  • Health care workers administering vaccine
  • Long-term care staff and residents—people in skilled nursing facilities and in adult, family and group homes.

Phase 1b: Adults 75 years or older and frontline essential workers.

The next phase of vaccinations will open in groups.

  • Group 1: Anyone 75 years or older, regardless of health status or living situation
  • Group 2: Health care workers with in-person patient contact and frontline essential workers 50 years or older
  • Group 3: Health care workers with in-person patient contact and frontline essential workers of any age

Phase 2: Adults at high risk for exposure and at increased risk of severe illness.

In this phase, vaccinations will also open in groups.

  • Group 1: Anyone 65-74 years old, regardless of health status or living situation
  • Group 2: Anyone 16-64 years old with high-risk medical conditions that increase risk of severe disease from COVID such as cancer, COPD, serious heart conditions, sickle cell disease, Type 2 diabetes, among others, regardless of living situation
  • Group 3: Anyone who is incarcerated or living in other close group living settings who is not already vaccinated due to age, medical condition or job function.
  • Group 4: Essential workers not yet vaccinated.

Phase 3: Students.

  • College, university and high school students 16 or older.
  • Younger children will only be vaccinated when the vaccine is approved for them.

Phase 4:  Finally, anyone who wants a COVID-19 vaccine will be able to get one.

How was the distribution plan decided? 

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services developed its vaccination plan to align with federal recommendations. There is a clear commitment to first protect health care workers caring for patients with COVID-19, people who are at the highest risk of being hospitalized or dying, and those at high risk of exposure to COVID-19.

On December 22, 2020 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices released updated interim vaccine prioritization recommendations for the next phases of vaccinations. 

Where can I find more information about the vaccine? 

More detailed about the vaccine itself and the rollout plan in North Carolina is available at yourspotyourshot.nc.gov. The page is also available in Spanish: covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vacuna.

You can also call the COVID-19 Line at 1-877-490-6642 or click here to find a local hotline in your county.

Other Resources

  • Infographic of Vaccine Phases (English / Spanish
  • Deeper Dive: Phase 1a (English / Spanish
  • Deeper Dive: Phase 1b (English / Spanish Coming) 
  • Flyer on Vaccines (English / Spanish
  • Presentation COVID-Vaccination 101  (English / Spanish
  • Frequently Asked Questions (English / Spanish
  • Videos on Vaccine Rollout 
    • NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen shares information on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan (45-second, 30-second
    • NCDHHS Deputy Secretary Ben Money shares information on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan (link
  • Videos for Long-Term Care 
    • North Carolina long-term care workers share their reason for taking the newly developed COVID-19 vaccine (90-second, 60-second, 30-second
    • NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen shares information on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan long-term care facility workers (60-second) 
    • NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen shares information on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan for families of long-term care residents (link
    • NCDHHS Deputy Secretary Ben Money shares information on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan for long-term care facilities (60-second, 30-second
  • Videos for Older Americans – (English / Spanish / Captioned)

Need more information? 

Read these Frequently Asked Questions from the NC Department of Health and Human Services. If you have further questions, call 2-1-1 to get connected with additional resources.

SOURCE: NCDHHS

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