Starting next week, some members of Group Four, including those with high-risk medical conditions and those living in some congregate living settings that increase their risk of exposure, will be eligible for vaccination. 

Governor Roy Cooper announced the move in a press conference this afternoon, and said DHHS officials made the decision based on feedback from providers administering shots to people in Groups 1-3 through the state as well as on projected vaccine supply coming into the state in the next few days. 

“This move to Group Four is good news, and it’s possible because of the tireless work of our state health officials, vaccine providers, federal partners, our North Carolina National Guard and Emergency Management and so many others,” Cooper said. 

Those in Group Four who will be eligible for the vaccination next week include anyone aged 16 through 64 with medical conditions that include asthma, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, as well as people who are pregnant or are smokers. Additionally, incarcerated people and people who are homeless or living in shelters will be eligible for the vaccine. 

Cooper said he visited the federal vaccination facility that opened in Greensboro this week where more than 3,300 people got shots at the site on its first day open to the public. So far, 11 percent of North Carolinians are fully vaccinated, Cooper said, and about 18 percent have had their first shots. 66 percent of people age 65 and older have had at least one shot. 

“That’s progress but we still have work to do,” Cooper said. “I am pleased our COVID-19 numbers also remain stable and that’s due, in part, to people continuing to wear mask and use good judgement. We’ve got to keep it up. Until there is enough vaccine, wearing our masks is as important as ever. Looking out for ourselves and each other, we’ll beat this pandemic.”

The governor emphasized that those in Groups One through Three who haven’t yet been vaccinated should get their vaccines as soon as possible. He said some counties in the state won’t be able to move to vaccinate people in Group 4 by next week.

“We want them to make sure they are still meeting demand in Groups One through Three,” he said.

Follow Editor-in-Chief Jane Porter on Twitter or send an email to

Support independent local journalism. Join the INDY Press Club to help us keep fearless watchdog reporting and essential arts and culture coverage viable in the Triangle.