Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. announced Tuesday that additional frontline essential workers in Group 3 will be eligible for vaccinations beginning March 3.

The expedited timeline follows the approval of the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine and an expected increase in vaccine supply to North Carolina. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine comes as the federal government has also increased vaccine in North Carolina beyond the state’s allocation.

The Watauga Democrat reports North Carolina will receive 80,000 doses of the new Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Shipments of the single-shot vaccine are should arrive in the state this week. According to the report, AppHealthCare spokesperson Melissa Bracey said 2,000 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine should arrive in Watauga County late in the week.

While there is still not enough vaccine for everyone, the improved supply has contributed to providers reporting readiness to expand access to additional Group 3 essential workers.

Gov. Cooper also outlined an expected timeline for beginning Group 4 vaccinations. Beginning on March 24, people at higher risk from COVID-19 due to underlying medical conditions will become eligible to receive a vaccine, as well as people in certain congregate-living settings.

The Watauga Democrat reports AppHealthCare had received permission to move to the rest of Phase 3 before the Governor's announcement.

Nearly 300,000 first doses are set to arrive in the state this week.