COVID-19 Vaccinations Prioritized Populations: Those most at risk get it first
Our goal is to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible given the limited supply of vaccines. North Carolina moves through vaccination groups by aligning to federal priorities while empowering local health departments and hospitals with flexibility to move to the next priority group as they complete phases and have vaccines available.
You have a spot, take your shot. A tested, safe and effective vaccine will be available to all who want it, but supplies will be limited at first. To save lives and slow the spread of COVID-19, independent state and federal public health advisory committees recommend first protecting health care workers, people who are at the highest risk of being hospitalized or dying and those at high risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Keep practicing the 3 Ws: wear a mask, wait six feet apart, wash your hands until most people have a chance to get vaccinated.
Group 1: Health care workers fighting COVID-19 & Long-Term Care staff and residents
- Health care workers with in-person patient contact
- Long-term care staff and residents—people in skilled nursing facilities, adult care homes and continuing care retirement communities
Group 2: Older adults
- Anyone 65 years or older, regardless of health status or living situation
Group 3: Frontline essential workers
- The CDC defines frontline essential workers as workers who are in sectors essential to the functioning of society and who are at substantially higher risk for exposure to COVID-19.
Group 4: Adults at high risk for exposure and increased risk of severe illness
- Anyone 16-64 years old with high-risk medical conditions that increase risk of severe disease from COVID-19 such as cancer, COPD, serious heart conditions, sickle cell disease, Type 2 diabetes, among others, regardless of living situation
- 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
- Essential workers not yet vaccinated. The CDC defines these as workers in transportation and logistics, water and wastewater, food service, shelter and housing (e.g., construction), finance (e.g., bank tellers), information technology and communications, energy, legal, media, public safety (e.g., engineers) and public health workers
Group 5: Everyone who wants a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination
*Please note that these phases could change at anytime and individual health risks will be self-reported. No doctor’s notes will be needed to receive the vaccine.