Gov. Roy Cooper Mobilizes National Guard To Assist With Vaccinations

By Sarah Tate

January 5, 2021

Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Tuesday (January 5) that the National Guard has been mobilized to assist in the state's vaccine rollout.

"Ensuring COVID-19 vaccines are administered quickly is our top priority right now," Gov. Cooper wrote on Twitter. "We will use all resources and personnel needed. I've mobilized the NC National Guard to provide support to local health providers as we continue to increase the pace of vaccinations."

The announcement comes after news that North Carolina has one of the lowest rates of vaccine administration in the country, according to numbers released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of the nearly 400,000 doses delivered to the state, only 101,351 have been administered. Over the weekend, State Rep. Billy Richardson called on Cooper to enlist the assistance of the National Guard.

"The numbers of North Carolinians contracting Covid daily is staggering, and the slow distribution of the vaccines is disturbing," said Richardson. "Now is the time to act promptly and with a renewed commitment to bipartisan results."

North Carolina is not the first state to call in the National Guard for support during the pandemic. At least seven other states are using the Guard, including for administering tests and assisting low-staffed senior homes.

The number of coronavirus cases in the state continues to rise, as well as the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19. As of Tuesday, 3,781 people are currently in the hospital with the virus, with 382 patients admitted within the past 24 hours. Additionally, the state's positivity rate is above 16%, a far cry from the goal of 5%.

Photo: Getty Images

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