Vaccines

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COVID-19 Vaccine Information

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Tested, safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines will help us get back in control of our lives and back to the people and places we love

Scientists had a head start. The vaccines were built upon years of work to develop vaccines for similar viruses.

Tested, safe and effective. More than 70,000 people volunteered in clinical trials for two vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) to see if they are safe and work to prevent COVID-19 illness. Volunteers included Black/African Americans, Hispanics/LatinX, Asians and others. To date, the vaccines are 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 with no serious safety concerns noted in the clinical trials. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) makes sure the vaccines are safe and can prevent people from getting COVID-19. Like all drugs, vaccine safety continues to be monitored after they are in use.

You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine. You may have temporary reactions like a sore arm, headache or feeling tired and achy for a day or two after receiving the vaccine.

Take your shot at no cost. The COVID-19 vaccine will be available for free, whether or not you have insurance.

COVID-19 Vaccinations: Your best shot at stopping COVID-19

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.

 

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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 groups and have vaccines available.

Group 1: Health care workers & 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

Learn more about Group 1

Group 2: Older adults

  • Anyone 65 years or older, regardless of health status or living situation

Learn more about Group 2

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

Frequently Asked Questions 

Guiding Principles: Everyone has a spot to get their shot

1

Everyone has access

All North Carolinians have equitable access to vaccines

2

Inclusion and respect

Vaccine planning and distribution is inclusive and draws upon the experience and expertise of leaders from historically marginalized populations

3

Keeping you informed

Transparent, accurate, and frequent public communications is essential to building trust

4

Informed decision-making

Data is used to promote equity, track progress and guide decision-making

5

Continuous improvement

Appropriate stewardship of resources and continuous evaluation and improvement drive successful implementation