Vaccine providers in North Carolina and across the nation continued to be hampered by delayed shipments and deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines due to severe weather. Friday afternoon, the federal government notified impacted states that vaccine shipments are expected to resume the beginning of next week.
North Carolina vaccines scheduled to arrive on Feb.16 and 17, but were not shipped, are now scheduled to arrive between Feb. 22 and 24. Allocations for the next week are also expected to arrive during the same time period. Typically, providers receive COVID-19 vaccine shipments of first doses on Tuesday and Wednesday and shipments of second doses on Thursday and Friday.
These delays have caused vaccination appointments to be postponed or rescheduled. As there is not enough vaccine in the state to shift or transfer supply in order to cover the delayed vaccine doses, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services advised providers to assess current appointments and notify recipients accordingly based on on-hand supplies. Providers should ensure people get their second dose as close to the recommended time as possible based on supply and to postpone or reschedule first doses.
Currently, health care workers, long-term care staff and residents, and people 65 and older are eligible to be vaccinated in North Carolina. The state will move to Group 3: Frontline Essential Workers on Feb. 24. Because supply is still very limited and the population of frontline essential workers is so large, North Carolina will begin with anyone working in child care or in PreK–12 schools starting on Feb. 24. North Carolina plans to move to additional frontline essential workers on March 10.
Some vaccine providers may not be ready to open to frontline essential workers on these dates if they are still experiencing high demand for vaccines in Groups 1 and 2.