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NC Gov. Cooper, emergency team shares vaccine campaign for elderly

The NC health department is working to help the elderly and minority groups answer questions about the coronavirus vaccines available.
Credit: AP News

NAGS HEAD, N.C. — Tuesday at 3:30 p.m., North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper held a briefing focused on the state's continued response to the coronavirus pandemic.

He started the briefing by addressing misinformation; Cooper said if people would believe health officials and wear masks, there would be fewer cases and deaths from the virus.

Health department secretary, Dr. Mandy Cohen, talked about the "acutely visible" differences that race had on virus impact. 

She said Black and Hispanic communities in the state had been experiencing significantly higher case rates and deaths than white neighbors in the state, and even though the disparities were shrinking, historical differences in healthcare cause some understandable distrust in medical campaigns.

Cohen said the health department would be working hard to make sure these minority communities had accurate, trustworthy information about available coronavirus vaccines.

The team also shared their campaign for elderly North Carolinians, "You have a spot. Take your shot." There's a new website to help people 75 and older, the next group eligible for vaccinations, to find information about how to do so.

Here's the state health department's 75+ vaccine campaign video:

Earlier Tuesday, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services dashboard reported 6,851 new coronavirus cases for the state, and 3,940 people in hospitals for virus treatment.

Since March, 7,638 people have died from COVID-19 in the Tar Heel State.

By the latest update, 173,928 people had gotten the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine in North Carolina, and 20,608 people had gotten the second (final) dose.

Cooper said the state is continuing to see a steady vaccination increase, and there would be vaccination events in the coming days.

"Vaccine supply across the country is extremely limited," Cooper said. 

He said the state's goal was to distribute all vaccines delivered to the state, as quickly as possible.

RELATED: North Carolina lawmakers irritated over slow vaccine rollout

The emergency team reminded residents to stay home whenever possible, wash their hands frequently, wear masks and stay six feet apart from non-household members. Cohen said these measures would save lives.