COVID-19 Vaccination Overview

Vaccine Information

New Hanover County Public Health is following the guidance and vaccination groups in the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services (NCDHHS) vaccination plan to serve our entire community. The plan is broken into five groups, with targeted populations prioritized to receive the vaccine in each group. Each group is detailed with more information below, so you can see where you fall into the plan. Remember that availability of the vaccine will be limited at first and will become more widely available throughout 2021.

New Hanover County is currently in Group 2 of the vaccination plan.

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

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

Frontline essential workers are people who:

  • Must be in-person at their place of work
  • Work in one of the eight essential sectors listed below:
    • Critical manufacturing (medical supplies or equipment, products for food or agricultural supply)
    • Education (K-12 teacher and support staff, child care staff, college and university instructors and support staff)
    • Essential goods (grocery stores and pharmacies)
    • Food and agriculture (meat packing, food processing, farm workers, migrant farm/fishery workers, food distribution, restaurant workers)
    • Government and community services (U.S. Postal Service, court workers, elected officials, clergy, homeless shelter staff)
    • Health care and public health (including social workers)
    • Public safety (Firefighters, EMS, law enforcement, corrections workers, security officers, public agency workers responding to abuse and neglect)
    • Transportation (Public transit workers, DMV workers, transportation maintenance technicians, highway infrastructure workers)

Learn more about Group 3

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
    • Food Service
    • Shelter & Housing (e.g., construction)
    • Finance (e.g., bank tellers)
    • IT & Communications
    • Energy
    • Media
    • Legal
    • Public Safety (e.g., Engineers)
    • Water & Wastewater

Group 5: Everyone who wants a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination

We expect this vaccination event to take several months, so it is important to be patient and to continue the protective measures already in place throughout this process, regardless of vaccination status.

Vaccines are one way to prevent serious illness from spreading, but it’s important to remember that it is not a cure or the end of COVID-19. To keep everyone safe, we must continue to use every tool in our toolkit – wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, washing our hands, staying home if sick, and other daily protective measures. We expect this vaccination event to take several months, so it is important to be patient and to continue the protective measures already in place throughout this process, regardless of vaccination status.

Health: 1650 Greenfield Street • Wilmington, NC 28401 • Phone 910-798-3500 • Fax 910-798-7834 • Human Services Fax 910-798-7824
Environmental Health: 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 140 • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-6667 • Fax 910-798-7815
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