Governor Roy Cooper says the North Carolina National Guard will be mobilized to help counties increase the pace of vaccinations. The governor made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday afternoon following an appeal by Cumberland County Rep. Billy Richardson.
Ensuring COVID-19 vaccines are administered quickly is our top priority right now. We will use all resources and personnel needed. I’ve mobilized the NC National Guard to provide support to local health providers as we continue to increase the pace of vaccinations. – RC
— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) January 5, 2021
In a letter to the governor and legislative leaders, Richardson pressed for legislators to be called back for a special session to immediately pass whatever legislation is needed to speed up the process to get North Carolinians vaccinated.
“I beg and urge each of you-call us back into session NOW…
“Effort and sacrifice now will show that there can be bipartisan discussion and collective resolutions that do in fact address the well-being of all North Carolinians. This will set the tone for this session and years to come. We are facing a life-crisis moment that can be turned into an opportunity.”
According to the NC Department of Health and Human Services the number of people who have gotten a 1st dose of COVID vaccine in our state is 109,799.
The number who have gotten both doses is just 461. (Note that there is a 21-day or 28-day period between when the the first and second dose of vaccine can be administered depending on which vaccine is given.)
An interactive map updated by the CDC shows nearly half a million vaccines have been distributed in North Carolina with 121,881 people receiving their first dose of the vaccine.
The move to engage the National Guard in the process may help improve those distribution numbers.
Since the start of the pandemic, North Carolina guardsmen have helped distribute over 7 million food bank meals and 15 million pounds of cargo as part of the state’s COVID-19 response efforts.
Governor Cooper and state health officials are expected to address questions about the state’s COVID response at a news conference Wednesday at 2 p.m.