Robeson County educators get vaccinated as state expands eligibility

Tracking The Vaccine

LUMBERTON, N.C. (WBTW) — Educators across North Carolina began getting vaccinated against COVID Wednesday.

Teachers, staff in PreK-12 schools and child care employees all became eligible Wednesday as the first part in North Carolina’s Group 3.

They need to be working in-person, or working in-person soon.

St. Pauls High School principal Jason Suggs got a shot of Moderna in the morning at the Robeson County Health Department.

Sara Hardin, a kindergarten teacher at East Robeson Primary, had an appointment for her dose at UNC Health Southeastern in Lumberton.

“I’m ready to get back in the classroom,” she said. “I’m ready to be with my kids again. It makes me feel really secure in going back and being in person. So that I’m staying healthy not only for my family but for my students as well.”

It’s great timing for Robeson County, where public schools will be offering in-person learning for the first time in nearly a year starting Monday.

Hospital officials at UNC Health Southeastern said they’ve had high demand since they began scheduling appointments for educators.

“We did not get a shipment last week so we got a double shipment this week with the winter weather out west,” hospital Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jason Cox said. “So we did have an overwhelming supply to meet the demand as the teachers came.”

North Carolina is moving into Group 3 gradually, which has kicked off with educators. State officials said more frontline essential workers will become eligible for the vaccine March 10. Others in Group 3 include firefighters, grocery store workers and restaurant workers.

“More demand,” Cox said of the local impact of the growing eligibility. “More demand. We’ll need more vaccine and we’re working with the state now for additional vaccine.”

Governor Cooper said during a news conference Wednesday that more than half of North Carolinians aged 65 and older have been vaccinated. Vaccinations are still ongoing for prior phases.

If you’re eligible, you can schedule an appointment with UNC Health Southeastern by clicking here and clicking ‘Get Vaccinated.’

Call the Robeson County Health Department at 910-671-3200 for more information on how to get a shot there.

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