As NC expands who can get the COVID-19 vaccine, some are being bumped down the list

By Lexi Wilson

North Carolina has surpassed 8,000 COVID-19 deaths will hospitalizations pushing health care systems to the brink. It comes as the Tarheel State struggles to ramp up vaccine distribution.

State health officials announced Thursday they would expand vaccination to anyone 65 years or older, including all health care workers. The new guidance comes in response to growing concerns that the previous plan was too complicated and slowed distribution.

“We are definitely hearing the message about simplicity and speed,” Dr. Mandy Cohen said.

But now the change in plans has bumped several people out of their original spot to get the vaccine.

Jennifer Williams is 36 years old. She has a heart condition, asthma, and multiple rare medical conditions.

“I think people have this misconception that only old people are high risk and chronically ill and disabled and that’s false,” Williams said.

Williams says she was in Group 2 originally, now she’s in Group 4, which means she’ll have to wait even longer to get the vaccine.

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This story was produced by the Charlotte Journalism Collaborative, a partnership of six media companies working together in an effort started by the Solutions Journalism Network and funded by The Knight Foundation.

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