Local county works to vaccinate current groups before educators become eligible next week

Local county works to vaccinate current groups before educators become eligible next week

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. — Rowan County health officials are trying to get as many people in Groups 1 and 2 as they can to sign up for a vaccination before educators become eligible next week.

The county is holding two vaccine clinics for the current at the West End Plaza in Salisbury this week.

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Starting Feb. 24, certain essential workers in Group 3, including teachers, principals, childcare providers, bus drivers and other school staff will be eligible to receive their vaccination for the first time.

Statewide that makes about 240,000 more people eligible for vaccinations.

The rest of Group 3 can start getting vaccinated on March 10.

Rowan County Health Director Nina Oliver said thousands of healthcare workers and people 65 and older still haven’t been vaccinated.

“There’s about 25,000 eligible for Groups 1 and 2 -- that’s a lot of people,” Oliver said.

Numbers provided by Rowan County suggest they’ve vaccinated 10,683 of the 29,500 who fall under Groups 1 and 2 -- that’s about 36%.

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Mecklenburg County didn’t provide exact numbers when Channel 9′s Tina Terry asked Monday but said about 7,000 people are currently on a waiting list to get the vaccine.

“We really want those in Groups 1 and 2 to get their vaccine as soon as possible so they don’t have to, I don’t want to have to use the word compete,” Oliver said. “There’s an additional 35,000 people eligible and that could make it harder and or longer to get their vaccine.”

Mecklenburg County Health Director Gibbie Harris offered the same encouragement but also said fewer people in Groups 1 and 2 have been seeking the vaccine, which indicates that, “many of the people who want to be vaccinated have already been vaccinated.”

Vaccine appointments filled hours after opening for teachers, school staff in Meck County