Cooper provides update on vaccination trends, announces last vaccine lottery winners

Coronavirus

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (Robert Willett/The News & Observer via AP, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. — Gov. Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. on Wednesday provided an update on the state’s COVID-19 key metrics and trends.

A representative from Live Nation Entertainment, Jeannine Beson, joined to share information on the company’s updated vaccination policies for concerts in North Carolina and their mission for keeping concert-goers safe. Additionally, the winners of the state’s final Your Shot at A Million Summer Cash Drawing and Summer Cash 4 College drawing winners were announced.

“We are putting all our energy and laser focus on the vaccination effort. It is encouraging that our state’s vaccine rate has increased in recent weeks, but we need to double down on that progress,” said Cooper. “If you haven’t gotten vaccinated, make time to get your shot or talk to your doctor today. And throughout it all, never lose sight of our North Carolina’s resilient spirit. We can beat COVID for good.”

While North Carolina has made progress with vaccinations in recent weeks, there is still more work to be done. As the state’s metrics continue to show the virus spread increasing, state health officials strongly urge all eligible North Carolinians to get vaccinated and adhere to health protocols including wearing face coverings.

“Layered protection is crucial to save lives, ensure our hospitals can provide care to those who need it, and fight this more contagious Delta variant. To weather the storm – vax up, mask up and urge others to do the same,” said Secretary Cohen.

New data shared today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reaffirms that vaccines continue to be remarkably effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta Variant. Nearly all the cases of severe disease, hospitalization, and death continue to occur among those not yet vaccinated.

The Governor applauded businesses requiring vaccine verification for customers and employees and highlighted Live Nation’s decision to require proof of vaccination at performances beginning this fall. Live Nation puts on concerts and events across the country, including several major venues here in North Carolina. It is requiring its employees, performers, crew members and attendees to show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID test to attend events at any of their venues.

Policies like this will encourage more people to get their shot, make events safer and protect the economy, Cooper said. The Governor is encouraging organizations and employers across the state to follow Live Nation’s lead and do everything they can to keep customers and employees safe. Other organizations such as Tyson Foods, private universities, health care offices and even small restaurants, are requiring employees to get vaccinated.

“Live Nation is committed to finding the best ways for shows to continue and to bring live music back to North Carolina,” said Jeannine Benson, Vice President of Regional Venue Operations at Live Nation. “We are working to ensure that we are continuing to do shows in the best way for staff, artists, crew members, fans and our community. We are looking forward to continuing to bring the magic of live music to North Carolina.”

Governor Cooper also announced the final winners of the summer cash drawing and scholarship. Lilly Fowler, an East Bend resident and senior at N.C. State University, received a $1 million prize as the state’s final Your Shot at A Million Summer Cash Drawing winner. Fifteen-year-old Breelyn Dean, a rising sophomore in Garner won a $125 thousand scholarship toward a college education.

“Going into my senior year of college, I was headed to Raleigh and was worried about the number of people living there compared to where I live. So, I decided to get the vaccine,” said Fowler, the cash drawing winner. “I take care of my baby sister a lot of the time and my grandmother. So, getting the vaccine is going to help not to bring anything home to them.”

“I hate needles, and I was already scared but I knew we had to do this. My family all went together for moral support because they hate needles too,” said Dean, the Cash 4 College winner. “Even if you’re unsure, I would still get it because it helps you and other people.”

In addition, to continue to protect against severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19, the White House announced today that planning is underway to support booster shots for the general population who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Boosters will be available pending full review and authorization by the Food and Drug Administration and approval and recommendations from the CDC. NCDHHS has been preparing for boosters and will be ready once given the go ahead from the FDA and CDC.

To date, North Carolina has administered over 10 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 59 percent of the adult population fully vaccinated. 63 percent of adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine, including 87 percent of North Carolinians 65 and over.

Learn more about the state’s vaccine distribution at myspot.nc.gov (English) or Vacunate.nc.gov (Spanish). Use NCDHHS’ online tool Find a Vaccine Location to find a nearby vaccine site. Call the state’s COVID-19 vaccine hotline at 888-675-4567.

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