Governor Cooper announced that the state will move to make Group 4 eligible for all COVID19 vaccines starting, today, March 17. Although each health department may delay this transition based on vaccine availability, I suspect that other locations like MAHEC/UNCA, Ingles, and Walgreens will be able to move more quickly.
Who is a part of Group 4?
People 16-64 years old with at least one high-risk medical condition, those who live in close group settings (homeless shelter, jail, prison, correctional facility), and all other essential workers not previously vaccinated.
The current list of high-risk conditions include:
- Asthma (moderate to severe)
- History of stroke
- Chronic kidney disease
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Cystic fibrosis
- Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes
- Intellectual and developmental disabilities (i.e. Down syndrome)
- Heart disease (heart failure, coronary heart disease, cardiomyopathy)
- Immunocompromised state (immunodeficiencies, HIV, taking chronic steroids or other immune suppression medications, history of organ transplant)
- Liver disease
- Pulmonary fibrosis
- Overweight or obesity (BMI > 25)
- Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
- Smoker (current or former)
Do I need a doctor’s note?
No, Governor Cooper has stated that patients who believe themselves to be in Group 4 will not need to have proof of a qualifying medical condition in order to get a vaccine. Feel free to call our office if you are unsure if you qualify or not.
–> Please go to https://myspot.nc.gov to find all available vaccination locations.
Tips I have collected from patients:
- You can sign up on multiple waitlists: Waitlists in outside counties (i.e. Jackson, Transylvania, Haywood, Madison) are much shorter. You can sign up at any health department in the state.
- MAHEC/UNCA vaccination drive has been very efficient with vaccine distribution
- Some patients have traveled to Tennessee or South Carolina for a vaccine. You currently are not limited by state, although this may change as we get into these final phases.
Troy Jackson, MD
Wild Health Asheville