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'This vaccine represents hope for me' | Group 4 eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations starting Wednesday

Vaccinations for the first part of Group 4 open up, specifically for people with underlying health risks between the ages of 16 and 64.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Everyday, more and more North Carolinians are getting their COVID-19 shot.

"At this point we have given millions and millions of doses of this vaccine across the country, and what we are seeing is that it works. That's the most important thing," said Dr. Andre Harvin, Director of Pharmacy for Cone Health Oncology Services. 

Starting Wednesday, Group Four vaccinations can begin: people ages 16 to 64 with high risk medical conditions, and people living in close group settings such as jails and homeless shelters. In a few weeks, essential workers not yet vaccinated will be eligible. Click here to learn more about who is eligible.

Dr. Harvin says, it's a pretty wide-ranging group that will be eligible to get the vaccine. He says, if you fall into this group - but still have questions about getting vaccinated - talk with your doctor. 

"For the most part we are seeing a lot of encouragement to get the vaccine across all of these comorbidities," he said. 

Eligibility for people with underlying medical conditions comes a week earlier than first announced. It's welcome news to Rachel Hogan.

"It was just extremely exciting, because this is a moment that I feel like I've been waiting for as a COVID survivor," she said, "This gives me hope that other people will be able to avoid going through what I myself went through."

Because of health issues, Hogan is qualified for the next round of vaccinations. She also works in the food service industry, additionally qualifying her for Group 4. After a really tough battle with COVID-19 last year, she won't hesitate in getting her shot. 

"I really wouldn't want anyone to have to know what it was like to spend a week in a COVID hospital or to endure the health issues and the aftermath that I've had to go through," she said, "I don't want that for anyone. So this vaccine represents hope for me."

Dr. Harvin told WFMY News 2 that we're moving right along at a pace the medical community expected, but we're still a ways away from herd immunity -which is what we need to get back to "normal." He says the goal is for at least 75% of all people to be vaccinated for that to happen.

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