New Hanover County will expand vaccine eligibility to all Group 3 workers next week

New Hanover County will expand vaccine eligibility to all Group 3 workers next week

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Beginning next week, New Hanover County Public Health will open vaccine appointments to all frontline essential workers in Group 3 of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan.

County health officials say the move is contingent on receiving additional vaccine supply from the state.

Donna Fayko, director of Health and Human Services in New Hanover County, said that while they’ve worked to vaccinate adults 65 and older, they have seen “a noticeable decrease” in demand for appointments in that age group.

“So in looking at that information coupled with our ongoing outreach efforts to still serve that age group, we are planning to move fully into Group 3 beginning next week,” Fayko stated in a news release. “This will include frontline essential workers who are working on-site or in the field who are critical to our community. And as we begin to vaccinate this group, we will also continue our emphasis on outreach to historically marginalized communities and older adults.”

Earlier this week, Governor Roy Cooper announced that counties could begin vaccinating all Group 3 essential workers beginning Wednesday, March 3. The decision to transition to the next eligible group is typically left up to each county.

The NCDHHS defines Group 3 as critical manufacturing, education and childcare, essential goods, food and agriculture, government and community services, healthcare and public health, public safety, and transportation. An estimated 100,000 New Hanover County residents fall into Group 3, officials say.

Much of the state has been vaccinating teachers, school staff, and childcare workers since last week.

As of Friday, more than 69,936 total doses have been administered in New Hanover County (41,308 first doses and 28,682 second doses), according to the NCDHHS dashboard.

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