Here’s everything you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine in North Carolina

As more COVID-19 vaccine doses become available in North Carolina, more people will be eligible to get it. North Carolina has already administered more than 2,994,000 doses of the vaccine since December 2020.

At this point, COVID-19 vaccinations are available to people 65 and older, health care workers, school employees and child care workers, and frontline essential workers, people ages 16 to 64 with a high risk medical condition. The state is vaccinating people by groups due to the limited supply of vaccines.

Here is North Carolina’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan to see where you fall in the line:

Group 1: Health care workers fighting COVID-19 and long-term care staff and residents (December 2020)

  • Hospitals and local health departments are vaccinating health care workers caring for and working directly with patients with COVID-19 and those giving vaccines. In addition, the federal government is vaccinating long-term care residents and staff.

Group 2: Adults 65 years or older and frontline essential workers (early January)

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

Group 3: Frontline essential workers (late February, early March)

  • 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 (March 24)

  • 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 (TBD)

>> CLICK HERE to access NCDHHS’ online tool ‘Find My Vaccine Group’

>> Have questions about the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the Carolinas? We have an entire section dedicated to coverage of the outbreak -- CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

Once you are eligible for the vaccine, you will have to make an appointment to get vaccinated. Your local health department or hospital can help you get the shot. You can also call the COVID-19 Line at 1-877-490-6642 for more information.

Click here for North Carolina’s tool to find your local COVID-19 vaccine provider. Not all vaccine providers may be ready to vaccinate your group yet.

The COVID-19 vaccine will be available to everyone for free, whether or not you have health insurance. Once you receive the first dose, you will get a printed card and email to remind you to come back three to four weeks later for your second dose.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation and the NC Department of Health and Human Services announced on Jan. 22 that approximately $2.5 million in Coronavirus Relief Funding is being distributed to local transit agencies across the state to help pay for rides for individuals who need transportation assistance to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

“Every North Carolinian has a spot and needs to get their shot,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “As vaccine supply increases, we are deploying every resource to make sure people have access and are not held back by barriers like lack of transportation.”

Click here to learn more.

Find your local health department and hospital information below:

Alexander County

Alexander County Health Department — 828-352-7724

Anson County

Anson County Health Department — 704-694-5188

Atrium Health — 704-468-8888

Ashe County

Appalachian District Health Department — 828-795-1970

Avery County

Toe River Health District — 828-733-8273

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System — 828-386-3000

Burke County

Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge — 828-580-7654

Burke County Health Department — 828-765-9150; 828-764-9219

Cabarrus County

Cabarrus Health Alliance — 704-920-1213

Atrium Health — 704-468-8888

Caldwell County

Caldwell Memorial Hospital — 828-757-6487

Caldwell County Health Department — 828-426-8400 (to schedule appointments in English); 828-426-8442 (to schedule appointments in Spanish)

Catawba County

Catawba Valley Medical Center — 828-326-3993

Catawba County Health Department — 828-695-6650 (available weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Cleveland County

Cleveland County Health Department — 980-484-5100

Atrium Health — 704-468-8888

Gaston County

CaroMont Health

Gaston County DHHS — 704-862-5303; 704-866-3170 (to schedule appointment)

Iredell County

Iredell Health System — 704-878-7787

Iredell County Health Department — 704-878-5300 ext. 4089

Lincoln County

Lincoln County Health Department — 704-735-3001

Catawba Valley Medical Center — 828-326-3993

Atrium Health — 704-468-8888

Mecklenburg County

Mecklenburg County Public Health — 980-314-9400, option 3 (to schedule appointment)

Atrium Health — 704-468-8888

Novant Health — 855-648-2248

Richmond County

Richmond County Health Department — 910-997-8301

Rowan County

Rowan County Health Department — 980-432-1800

Stanly County

Stanly County Health Department — 704-982-9171

Atrium Health — 704-468-8888

Union County

Union County Division of Public Health — 704-292-2550; 704-296-4820

Atrium Health — 704-468-8888

Watauga County

Appalachian District Health Department — 828-795-1970

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System — 828-386-3000