Cooper: Vaccines open to all frontline essential workers in Group 3 starting Wednesday

Gov. Cooper: Vaccines open to all frontline essential workers in Group 3 starting Wednesday

RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - All frontline essential workers in Group 3 will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning Wednesday, March 3, Gov. Roy Cooper said in a news conference Tuesday.

“Group 3 includes first responders and emergency personnel such as police and firefighters, people who work in-person in manufacturing, food and agriculture, grocery stores, government workers and our clergy, among others,” Cooper said. “Our essential frontline workers have remained on the job throughout this pandemic and I am grateful for their work.”

Cooper also said some members of Group 4 will be eligible for the vaccine beginning March 24.

“We will open group 4 first to people with medical conditions that put them higher-risk for severe COVID-19 illness,” Cooper said.

The state considers frontline essential workers to be people who must be in-person at their place of work and who work in one of the following eight essential sectors:

Critical Manufacturing

  • Workers manufacturing medical supplies, medical equipment or PPE
  • Workers manufacturing products needed for food and agricultural supply chains


  • College and university instructors and support staff

Essential goods

  • Workers in stores that sell groceries and medicine

Food and agriculture

  • Meat packing workers
  • Food processing workers
  • Farm workers
  • Migrant farm/fishery workers
  • Food distribution and supply chain workers
  • Restaurant workers

Government and Community Services

  • U.S. Postal Service and other shipping workers
  • Court workers
  • Elected officials
  • Clergy
  • Homeless shelter staff
  • Veterinarians, veterinarian staff and veterinarian students

Health Care and Public Health

  • Public health workers
  • Social workers

Public Safety

  • Firefighters and EMS
  • Law enforcement
  • Corrections workers
  • Security officers
  • Public agency workers responding to abuse and neglect


  • Public transit workers
  • Division of Motor Vehicles workers
  • Transportation maintenance and repair technicians
  • Workers supporting highway infrastructure

Cooper did warn that the state has not received as many vaccines as it needs to meet the demand at this point.

“The third vaccine and improving vaccine supply will help us get more people vaccinated more quickly,” Cooper said. “But as we’ve said before – we still don’t have enough vaccines. You may have to wait for an appointment even if today’s action means you are eligible to get vaccinated.”

NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen said the state will receive about 80,000 doses of the recently approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week along with approximately 215,000 first doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. The state also is receiving about 160,000 second doses of the vaccine this week.


LIVE: Gov. Roy Cooper is holding a news conference at 2 p.m. to give an update on COVID-19.

Posted by WECT News on Tuesday, March 2, 2021

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