Over the weekend, the FDA authorized the first ever COVID-19 vaccine. Monday, the first shipments of the Pfizer and BioNtech vaccines were delivered across the country. North Carolinians have endured tremendous hardship this year, but the FDA’s approval of a COVID-19 vaccine is a monumental achievement that can clear the path to defeating this pandemic and returning life to normal. With this safe and effective vaccine on the way, I want to make sure you have the most up-to-date information on North Carolina’s distribution plan.
The Pfizer vaccine is reported to be 95 percent effective in preventing COVID-19. Once distributed, 53 North Carolina hospitals will receive 85,000 doses of the vaccine this month. A list of hospitals that will receive doses of the vaccine can be found here.
In the first phase of distribution, health care workers and staff and residents of long-term care facilities will be the first to receive the vaccine. The second phase will include those with chronic illness, frontline workers, and those working in jails and homeless shelters. If you have a chronic illness, contact your primary care physician on how to receive the vaccine.
This will be the first of several vaccines that are approved, and all North Carolinians should have confidence that no corners were cut in ensuring its safety and effectiveness, and that all vaccine candidates undergo the scrutiny of the FDA’s gold standard review process. I applaud the thousands of Americans who have participated in clinical trials, including many North Carolinians. The success of the vaccine will be ultimately dependent on whether the majority of Americans elect to participate. That is why I will be getting vaccinated next year once it is widely available to the American public and after those who are on the frontlines or are most vulnerable have already received it.
For the most up-to-date vaccine information for North Carolina, please visit the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services here.
Thank you for reading, and as always please reach out to my office if you have any questions or need help with a federal agency. God bless and please stay safe.