Cooper activates National Guard to help speed up vaccine roll out

Cooper activates National Guard to help speed up vaccine roll out

RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - Governor Roy Cooper on Tuesday announced that he has activated the National Guard to help with the state’s COVID-19 vaccination roll out.

The governor took to Twitter for the announcement and stated, “Ensuring COVID-19 vaccines are administered quickly is our top priority right now. We will use all resources and personnel needed. I’ve mobilized the NC National Guard to provide support to local health providers as we continue to increase the pace of vaccinations.”

The move comes amid growing frustration at the county and state level with regards to coordinating and scheduling vaccinations.

WNCN reports that Rep. Billy Richardson (D-Cumberland) sent a letter to Cooper, House Speaker Tim Moore, and Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, requesting an emergency service of the General Assembly be called in order to send the National Guard out to help assist with vaccine distribution and administration.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data tracker currently ranks North Carolina among the states with the lowest vaccination rates per capita. As of Tuesday, among 395,100 doses delivered to the state, only 101,351 people (966 per 100K people) have received their first of two shots. Only Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Kansas, and Arizona have lower rates.

This week, North Carolina begins the transition to Phase 1B of its vaccination plan, which includes administering shots to those 75 years or older, regardless of medical or living conditions.

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