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Health officials say state on track to make all residents eligible for COVID shot

RALEIGH (AP) — All North Carolina adults who want a COVID-19 shot are on track to be eligible for one by May 1, state health officials said Friday.

The development comes in response to an announcement President Joe Biden made Thursday night directing governors and health officials in all states, tribes and territories to make people 18 and over eligible no later than May 1.

“North Carolina has continued to move through its vaccine phases quickly and equitably, and we are on track to meet the timeline outlined by President Biden’s announcement,” the state Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement.

Biden noted during his address that being eligible isn’t the same as receiving a shot.

“Let me be clear: That doesn’t mean everyone’s going to have that shot immediately, but it means you’ll be able to get in line beginning May 1,” Biden said.

Nearly 1 in 5 North Carolinians, or 2 million people, have been at least partially vaccinated since the state began distribution in December, according to DHHS data. The state will expand eligibility on April 7 to essential workers not yet vaccinated before moving to the general public.

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