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Mecklenburg County begins at-home vaccines for eligible patients

Mecklenburg County residents meeting the eligibility criteria will receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, as supply becomes available.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Mecklenburg County will begin vaccinating eligible, homebound patients with the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine as supply becomes available, county officials announced Thursday.

"Individuals who are currently homebound due to physical or mental disability and are unable to travel to a COVID-19 vaccination clinic can now request to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at their home residence by completing a request form on the County’s website," the county said in a released statement Thursday.

“Protecting our vulnerable, high-risk residents and reducing transmission through increased population immunity by vaccination are critical steps to our goal of reducing the impact of COVID-19 in our community," Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Gibbie Harris said in that same released statement.

Harris was among those who spoke during a virtual briefing Thursday afternoon.

This briefing came two hours before North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced an early start to Group 4 for select individuals with pre-existing health conditions.

RELATED: North Carolina opens Group 4 COVID-19 vaccinations early for some

Group 4 includes people with pre-existing medical conditions that put them at risk for serious illness from COVID-19. Some of these conditions include asthma, diabetes, and obesity. It also includes essential workers who were not part of Group 3, such as retail employees and utility workers.

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On Thursday, North Carolina's General Assembly passed a bill that will require all public schools to open for in-person learning. The bill was a compromise between Cooper and Republican leaders, who agreed schools should reopen but were at odds over how to do so. The new bill requires elementary schools to open for full-time in-person learning with hybrid scheduling for middle and high school students.

RELATED: CVS expands COVID vaccine appointments in NC. Here's the details

Mecklenburg County began its Group 3 vaccinations Wednesday, with thousands of people expected to receive their shot at an Atrium Health clinic at Bank of America Stadium. Starmed is also administering vaccinations at Bojangles Coliseum. 

The state's COVID-19 trends have continued a steady trend downward since February. On Thursday, NC DHHS reported 2,061 new cases of COVID-19. Currently, 1,039 people are hospitalized statewide. 

Have a relative or friend in another state and want to know when they can get vaccinated? Visit NBC News' Plan Your Vaccine site to find out about each state's vaccine rollout plan.

RELATED: VERIFY: Explaining the new child tax credit expansion under the COVID relief bill