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Everyone 16 & older in NC will be eligilble for the COVID vaccine this week

State officials estimate 18% of adults are already fully vaccinated for COVID-19. That number is expected to increase with more vaccine eligibility statewide.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — On Wednesday, April 7, every person 16 and older in North Carolina will become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The state will move into Group 5 vaccinations as the final stage of the rollout plan. Mecklenburg County will be part of that rollout, with the health department opening new weekly appointments on Wednesdays starting at 8:30 a.m. 

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Vaccination appointments will be for the following week. There are currently two ways to book an appointment in Mecklenburg County. First, you can book online through the county's website, or eligible patients may call the Mecklenburg County COVID-19 vaccine hotline at 980-314-9400. If a person is unable to secure an appointment, they can join the waiting list and will be contacted once more slots are available.

“I’m grateful for North Carolinians who are taking this seriously and getting the shot when it’s their time and I’m encouraged that North Carolina will be able to open eligibility to all adults well ahead of the President’s May 1 goal,” Cooper said. 

Local pharmacies and grocery stores, including Publix, Walgreens, Harris Teeter and CVS, as well as health care providers Atrium Health and Novant Health will be taking vaccine appointments for Group 5.

RELATED: How to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment in Mecklenburg County

The opportunity to vaccinate more people is exciting for doctors in Charlotte. 

"We have been working around the clock to prepare for the day we can offer vaccination appointments to everyone who wants one," said Dr. David Priest, an infectious disease expert with Novant Health. "We are very much continuing to follow that to make sure we have equitable distribution of vaccines in all of our communities."

RELATED: Poll: 26% of Gen Z say they'll skip getting the COVID-19 vaccine

According to North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services, 18% of adults in the state are fully vaccinated. That number is expected to increase with eligibility opening up to everyone Wednesday. 

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.