North Carolina moves to limit out-of-state access to vaccine | State

Virus Outbreak Vaccines

Wake County Health Department workers along with nurses and volunteers from area hospitals and emergency services are seen during a drive through COVID-19 mass vaccination event at PNC arena in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. Since North Carolina began administering the vaccine in December, more than 1 million people have gotten their first doses.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina is shifting its vaccine distribution guidance to dissuade people from traveling long distances to receive a COVID-19 shot in the state.

Under updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention clarifying travel policies, North Carolina has enacted stricter vaccination policies to improve North Carolinians’ access to the vaccine.

“To promote the public health goals for North Carolina, it is permissible to not offer vaccine to temporary travelers who do not reside, work, or spend significant time in the North Carolina,” the state Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement.

The move aims to give greater preference to in-state residents who have struggled to book appointments and come in for shots due to the high demand, but loopholes still allow for people to travel into the state without having to provide ID, proof of residency or proof of employment. People living out of state could also explain to vaccine administrators that they are eligible for shots because they work or spend a significant time in North Carolina or continue to receive ongoing health care in the state.

More than 27,000 people from other states have received their vaccine in North Carolina, as of last week, according to state health officials. The new guidance was first reported by WRAL and confirmed by The Associated Press.

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