COVID-19 booster now available for children ages 5-11

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Most North Carolina adults have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot, according to data released by the state Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday.

By Wednesday night, over 50% of residents were partially vaccinated. Nearly three in four adults 65 years or older are fully vaccinated. Participation among younger residents, especially those between the ages of 18 and 24, is lagging behind. Those under 50 are also underrepresented in vaccine adoption rates.

North Carolina last week administered its fewest number of weekly first doses since the end of December 2020 — a stretch of time when shots were hard to come by. Today, anyone 16 or older is eligible for a vaccine.

Fewer than 55,000 people got their first COVID-19 shot last week, according to state health department data, though the numbers could slightly improve as more providers report their data.

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and public health officials are waging an information campaign promoting a message of returning to summer and have said they’ll eliminate the indoor mask mandate once two-thirds of adults are at least partially vaccinated. The governor has suggested these incentives are currently sufficient, though he’s also said he’s mulling other ideas.

Copyright 2021, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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