Gov. Cooper visits UNC hospital as frontline health care workers receive COVID-19 vaccine

North Carolina

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — Gov. Roy Cooper along with North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen looked on as some of the first COVID-19 vaccinations were administered at UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill.

UNC Medical Center was one of 11 hospitals that received Pfizer vaccine shipments on Monday and Tuesday of this week.

The facility began administering the vaccine to doctors, nurses, custodial staff and more employees soon after receiving it.

“I am grateful for these health care workers who have worked tirelessly and put their lives at risk for months to care for patients with this virus,” Cooper said. “It’s a tremendous relief that this vaccine can soon provide an extra layer of protection as they do their jobs.”

Forty-two additional hospitals across the state are expected to receive shipments today. With the Moderna vaccine expected to receive authorization soon, even more health care providers throughout North Carolina will begin receiving vaccinations.

“It’s really an emotional moment to see our frontline health care workers – these heroes who courageously show up every day, sacrificing so much to care for others – get cared for themselves,” said Cohen.

“The first COVID-19 vaccine has been highly anticipated here at UNC Health through our clinical trial work, testing development and clinical treatment of COVID patients,” said Dr. Wesley Burks, CEO of UNC Health. “We are extremely pleased to have our vaccination clinics set up and operational across the state so that we may offer this important tool in the fight against COVID-19, and remain deeply grateful to Governor Cooper for his role in leading us to this point.”

Health care workers who interact with COVID-19 patients are the first group of North Carolinians to receive vaccines, followed by residents and staff of long-term care facilities.

To learn more about North Carolina’s vaccine distribution process, read the vaccine plan from NCDHHS.

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