A sizable group of North Carolina college students will be eligible for a vaccine in April, under guidance from the state Department of Health and Human Services.
When North Carolina drafted its initial COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan in October 2020, college students were listed as a priority, just ahead of the general public. When schools reopened in August, the cohort proved it had the ability to rapidly contribute to community spread and fuel outbreaks through off-campus parties. But in January, North Carolina bumped the group from the priority list amid a backlash from state lawmakers and encouragement from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to give stronger preference to older adults and those working in certain job sectors.
This week, health officials released a statement saying college students who live on campus or in other congregate settings will be able to receive starting on April 7, regardless of their age, health condition or employment status. The students are included in Phase 4b of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan, which also includes essential workers not yet vaccinated.
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