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Find out what vaccine group you're in

North Carolina began taking appointments for Group 4 on March 17, which includes adults with pre-existing health conditions and remaining front-line workers.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As health officials around the country work to vaccinate every American, North Carolina and South Carolina health officials have released a timeline for when residents can receive their COVID-19 vaccine.

WCNC Charlotte has compiled a list to show when you might be eligible to receive your vaccine.

RELATED: Where to receive your coronavirus vaccine in the Carolinas


Group 1- Health Care Workers and Long-Term Care Staff and Residents (Active Group)

Health care settings include, but are not limited to, settings such as:

  • hospitals
  • long-term care facilities
  • outpatient clinics
  • vaccination sites
  • home health care
  • public health clinical services
  • emergency medical services
  • mortuaries
  • pharmacies

Health care workers with in-person patient contact can include but are not limited to:

  • Behavioral health providers
  • Blood banks workers
  • Chiropractors
  • Community health workers
  • Dental hygienists
  • Dentists
  • Dialysis centers
  • Diagnostic and therapeutic technicians
  • EMTs/paramedics
  • Environmental services staff
  • Food services staff
  • Front desk administrative staff
  • Health care trainees (e.g., medical students, pharmacy students, nursing students)
  • Home caregivers providing regular medical care to medically fragile children and adults
  • Home health aides and workers and direct support professionals
  • Hospice homes
  • Laboratory staff
  • Medical Interpreter
  • Morticians/funeral home staff
  • Nurses
  • Nursing aides, techs, and assistants
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Optometrists
  • Personal care aides
  • Pharmacists
  • Pharmacy techs
  • Phlebotomists
  • Physicians
  • Physicians Assistants
  • Physical, occupational, and speech therapists
  • Podiatrists
  • Public health and emergency workers
  • Public health nurses
  • Respiratory techs
  • Syringe Exchange Providers

LONG-TERM CARE STAFF AND RESIDENTS include people and staff the following settings:

  • Adult care homes/assisted living
  • family care homes
  • group homes
  • skilled nursing facilities
  • mental health group homes
  • shared housing with two or more individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities receiving home and community-based services
  • continuing care retirements communities
  • in-patient hospice facilities

GROUP 2 - Older adults

Adults 65 and older are eligible to be vaccinated in Group 2. There is no requirement to have certain qualifying chronic conditions.

We strongly recommend that vaccine providers prioritize people 75 years or older if local demand for vaccination is greater than vaccine supply. It is the responsibility of all vaccine providers to ensure equitable access to vaccines. This will mean taking intentional actions to reach and engage historically marginalized communities.

GROUP 3 -  Front line Essential Workers

School and Child care workers are people who:

  • Must be in-person at your place of work, including staff who anticipate an imminent return to an in-person work setting.
  • Staff who are 65 and older are already eligible to receive the vaccine.
  • Child Care Centers
  • Pre-Kindergarten Programs
  • Head Start & Early Head Start Programs
  • Pre-School Programs
  • Family Child Care Homes
  • Traditional Public Schools
  • Charter Schools
  • Private/Non-Public Schools
  • Teachers
  • Teacher assistants
  • Student teachers
  • Owners, directors, supervisors
  • Bus and van drivers
  • Family support staff
  • Food service workers
  • Classroom support and administrative staff
  • Custodial and maintenance staff
  • Therapists and medical staff
  • Required on-site consultants
  • Teachers
  • Teacher assistants
  • Student and substitute teachers
  • Special education teachers and therapists
  • School and district administrators
  • School transportation drivers
  • Food service workers
  • School support staff (e.g., guidance counselors, social workers, speech language pathologists)
  • Custodial and maintenance staff
  • Media & IT specialists
  • School safety personnel
  • Librarians
  • School administrative staff
  • Instructional support staff
  • School Nurses (eligible in Group 1)

Frontline essential workers are people who:

  • Must be in-person at their place of work
  • Work in one of the eight essential sectors listed below*

Critical Manufacturing

Including for example:

  • Workers manufacturing medical supplies, medical equipment or PPE
  • Workers manufacturing products needed for food and agricultural supply chains


Including for example:

  • College and university instructors and support staff

Essential Goods

Including for example:

  • Workers in stores that sell groceries and medicine

Food and Agriculture

Including for example:

  • Meat packing workers
  • Food processing workers
  • Farm workers
  • Migrant farm/fishery workers
  • Food distribution and supply chain workers
  • Restaurant workers

Government and Community Services

Including for example:

  • U.S. Postal Service and other shipping workers
  • Court workers
  • Elected officials
  • Clergy
  • Homeless shelter staff
  • Veterinarians, veterinarian staff and veterinarian students

Health Care and Public Health

Including for example:

  • Public health workers
  • Social workers

Public Safety

Including for example:

  • Firefighters and EMS
  • Law enforcement
  • Corrections workers
  • Security officers
  • Public agency workers responding to abuse and neglect


Including for example:

  • Public transit workers
  • Division of Motor Vehicles workers
  • Transportation maintenance and repair technicians
  • Workers supporting highway infrastructure

GROUP 4 - Adults at High Risk for Exposure and Increased Risk of Severe Illness

This population includes anyone with conditions that have been identified by the CDC as increasing risk for severe COVID-19 illness. The CDC may update the list of high-risk conditions as scientists learn more about COVID-19. NCDHHS will update the list accordingly:

  • Asthma (moderate to severe)
  • Cancer
  • Cerebrovascular disease or history of stroke 
  • Chronic kidney disease 
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Dementia or other neurologic condition 
  • Diabetes type 1 or 2 
  • Down Syndrome 
  • A heart condition such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure 
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from: immune deficiencies, HIV, taking chronic steroids or other immune weakening medicines, history of solid organ blood or bone marrow transplant
  • Liver disease, including hepatitis 
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Overweight or obesity  
  • Pregnancy 
  • Sickle cell disease (not including sickle cell trait) or thalassemia 
  • Smoking (current or former, defined as having smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime)

This population includes anyone who is living in congregate or close group living settings who is not already vaccinated due to age, medical condition or job function, including:

  • People experiencing homelessness or living in a homeless shelter
  • Correctional facilities, such as jail or prison

The remainder of essential workers are also in North Carolina's Group 4. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Chemical (including workers in petrochemical plants, agricultural chemicals, pharmaceutical facilities, consumer products)
  • Commercial facilities (including retail workers, hotel workers)
  • Communications and information technology (service repair dispatchers, data center operators)
  • Defense industrial base (including workers supporting essential services to meet national security commitments)
  • Energy (including electric, petroleum, natural and propane gas workers)
  • Financial services (including workers who maintain systems for processing financial transactions, workers needed to provide consumer access to banking and lending services)
  • Hazardous materials (including nuclear facilities workers, workers managing medical waste)
  • Hygiene products and services (including laundromats, sanitation workers)
  • Public works and infrastructure support services (including plumbers, electricians, exterminators, workers supporting parks)
  • Residential facilities, housing and real estate
  • Water and wastewater (including staff at water authorities, wastewater treatment facilities, water sampling and monitoring)


North Carolina's fifth and last group for the COVID-19 vaccine is for the general public and anyone not yet vaccinated.

Click here to visit NCDHHS vaccine page. 


Phase 1a and 65+

Individuals making appointments may need to present credentials to verify they qualify to receive vaccination under Phase 1a. This includes providing some proof (e.g., badge, card, license, personalized letter from employer, picture of license) of Phase 1a qualification when presenting for the vaccination. 

Phase 1a mission-critical workers and individuals include:

  • 70+ year olds, regardless of health status or preexisting conditions
  • 65+ year olds, regardless of health status or preexisting conditions (Beginning Feb. 8)
  • Anesthesiology assistants, registered cardiovascular invasive specialists, and operating room staff 
  • Athletic Trainers 
  • American Sign Language (ASL) and other interpreters in healthcare facilities 
  • Autopsy room staff, coroners, embalmers, and funeral home staff at risk of exposure to bodily fluids 
  • Chiropractors 
  • Dentists and dental hygienists and technicians 
  • Dietary and food services staff in healthcare facilities 
  • Environmental services staff in healthcare facilities 
  • Harbor pilots 
  • Home caregivers for children who have a tracheostomy, are ventilator-dependent or who have a Medically Complex Children's Waiver. The Medically Complex Children’s Waiver (MCC) is a statewide program to serve children who meet either Nursing Facility or Intermediate Care Facility-Intellectually Disabled level of care and medical criteria. Requires a medical provider’s signed attestation to confirm caregiver meets criteria.
  • Home health and hospice workers 
  • Hospital transport personnel 
  • Hospital inpatients 65 and older 
  • Laboratory personnel and phlebotomists 
  • Licensed dietitians 
  • Long-Term Care Facility (LTCF) residents and staff 
  • Medical assistants 
  • Medical first responders (paid and volunteer): EMS; fire department and law enforcement personnel who provide emergency medical care 
  • Nurses, nurse practitioners, and nurse’s aides/ assistants 
  • Opticians and optometrists and assistants/ technicians 
  • Persons providing medical care in correctional facilities and correctional officers 
  • Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians 
  • Physical and occupational therapists and assistants 
  • Physicians, including medical house staff (i.e., interns, residents, fellows), and physician assistants 
  • Podiatrists 
  • Public health healthcare workers who are frequently interacting with persons with potential COVID-19 infection 
  • Radiology technicians 
  • Respiratory care practitioners, such as respiratory therapists 
  • Speech language pathologists and assistants and audiologists 
  • State/local government employees and their contractors who are mission-critical for maintaining operations of COVID-19 vaccinations and testing in SC 
  • Students and interns of the above categories

Phase 1b

  • Anyone aged 55 and up
  • People with increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
    • People aged 16-54 with one or more of the following high-risk medical conditions:
      • Cancer (current, not a history of cancer), chronic kidney disease (any stage), chronic lung disease, diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2), Down syndrome, heart disease (congestive heart disease, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, pulmonary hypertension), HIV/AIDS, solid organ transplant, obesity (BMI >30), pregnancy, sickle cell disease.
    • People who have a developmental or other severe high-risk disability that makes developing severe life-threatening illness or death from COVID-19 infection more likely
  • Frontline workers with increased occupational risk
    • Frontline workers with increased occupational risk are people who:
      • Must be in-person at their place of work, and
      • Perform a job that puts them at increased risk of exposure due to their frequent, close (less than6 feet) and ongoing (more than 15 minutes) contact with others in the work environment
      • Examples of frontline workers include but are not limited to school staff and daycare workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, law enforcement officers, etc.
  • Individuals at increased risk in settings where people are living and working in close contact
    • Residents and workers in group home settings for the mentally or physically disabled or those with behavioral or substance abuse conditions
    • Workers and residents in homeless shelters
    • Workers and residents in community training homes
    • State and local correctional facility staff with direct inmate contact
    • Correctional and immigration detention facility inmates
    • Migrant farmworkers living in shared housing or reliant on shared transportation
  • All workers in healthcare and community health settings who have routine, direct patient contact and were not vaccinated in Phase 1a

Phase 1c

  • Anyone aged 45 and up
  • Essential workers
    • This group includes those who work in essential job categories as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) who are not included in Phase 1b because they do not have frequent, close contact with others in the work environment (examples may include construction workers, delivery drivers, utility workers, etc. who do not have frequent, close and ongoing contact with others)

Phase 2

  • All South Carolinians aged 16 and up

Estimated Population of Phase 2: Remaining population not already vaccinated

South Carolina’s phased approach to its COVID-19 vaccine rollout recognizes the risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 increases with age and people with certain medical conditions and occupations are at higher risk of exposure to the virus. Because of this, South Carolina will continue to move phase by phase, based on risk level, with the goal of vaccinating every South Carolinian who wishes to receive a vaccine by this summer.

Click here to visit SCDHEC vaccine page

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.

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