Special to Iredell Free News
RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday that more than 50 percent of adults 18 and older in the state have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
More than 43 percent of the adult population is fully vaccinated against the virus.
“This is a significant milestone toward our goal of stopping the spread of COVID-19 and bringing summer back to North Carolina,” said NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy K. Cohen. “I hope you will join the more than 4 million people who have taken their shot and help put this pandemic behind us.”
To date, the state has administered more than 7.4 million vaccines. More than 74% of the population over 65 years of age is fully vaccinated, and nearly 40% of the total population of the state, regardless of age, has received at least one dose.
The department is working to ensure receiving a COVID-19 vaccine is easy and convenient for anyone 16 and older. The vaccine is widely available through a variety of providers, often with no wait time and without the need for an appointment. To find a vaccine in your area, use the Find a Vaccine Location tool or call 888-675-4567.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week shared an updated list of what fully vaccinated people can do. Activities include gathering indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask or staying six feet apart, as well as moving freely outdoors without wearing a mask except in certain crowded settings and venues. Fully vaccinated people who have been around someone who has COVID-19 do not need to stay away from others or get tested, unless symptoms develop.
If North Carolina continues to work together, improve key metrics and increase vaccination rates, the state is poised to lift mandatory social distancing, capacity and mass gathering restrictions on June 1, 2021.
Additionally, the state has set a goal to get two-thirds of adults vaccinated with at least one shot in order to lift the indoor mask mandate and lighten other public health recommendations. The timeline for this benchmark will be determined by how quickly North Carolinians get vaccinated.