CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Earlier this week, nearly 3 million people in North Carolina became eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Most of the group has underlying health conditions that put them at a higher risk of getting really sick from the coronavirus.
The main problem, there are not enough shots for everyone, and some North Carolinians can't get an appointment for months.
It's been a year of pivoting, and for Nilda Navedo, that's meant turning her home into a movie theater one day and a yoga or cycling studio the next because going out in public is just too risky.
“Since I have a pulmonary illness, it’s a fear of, I have to be extremely cautious when I go out,” Navedo said.
She has sickle cell anemia. She's managed it her whole life, but the pandemic brought new fear.
“To me, honestly, it’s a fear of am I going to live through it,” she said.
Navedo often requires oxygen, and after 13 surgeries, she said the hospital can feel like a second home. She was back in January with double pneumonia and could only see her family through the windows.
“It’s still a process where you're very much alone,” she said. “It’s even more so the reason of why the vaccine is when the group opened up that you want to be able to be vaccinated." She became eligible with group 4 on Wednesday.
Despite checking a handful of different providers, the best she could get was an appointment three months away. She said it was disappointing.
“I’m getting to that point where, mentally, I want to go out, and I want to interact,” Navedo said.
So many others are experiencing the same problem. Demand continues to exceed the supply of vaccines in the state. But federal, state and local health officials are expecting that to change in the coming weeks. By April, North Carolina Health Secretary Mandy Cohen expects the state to get another 100,000 doses each week.
By May, President Joe Biden expects every American who wants a shot will be able to make an appointment. State and Mecklenburg County leaders said they will be ready.
Navedo’s appointment is through Novant Health. Leaders there said until the supply grows, community members who booked multiple appointments need to cancel the ones they will not use, it will free up the timeslots for others still waiting.
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.