North Carolina is taking steps to ensure the COVID-19 vaccine is administered equitably to all people and groups across the state.
In a media briefing Tuesday, Gov. Roy Cooper said distributing vaccine quickly and equitably remains a top priority.
Cooper says the goal is to make sure every community has access to the vaccine and track the data on vaccine distribution.
He says the state is ramping up efforts to include vaccine providers that serve communities of color.
Gov. Cooper issued a new executive order Tuesday that extends previous orders giving the DHHS Secretary the ability to temporarily waive industry regulations to speed vaccine distributions.
The order also means all state resources and personnel can be used to assist with vaccine distribution as needed as new supplies come in.
Gov. Cooper says North Carolinians must keep their guard up while waiting for wider availability of the COVID vaccine.
Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services says the biggest challenge remains availability of vaccine.
Cohen says 18% of vaccines administered in the state during the past week were given to the African American community.
North Carolina passed the grim milestone of 10,000 COVID-19 deaths this week. There have now been 10,046 coronavirus-related deaths in the state. North Carolina has recorded a total of 802,065 laboratory-confirmed cases of coronavirus since the pandemic began.