Chatham County Health Department updating vaccination plans to align with new NC prioritization guidelines

Pittsboro, NC – The Chatham County Public Health Department (CCPHD) is in the process of updating its COVID-19 vaccination plans to align with the new prioritization guidelines issued by the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) today. 

COVID-19 vaccine
photo by Daniel Schludi

This includes adding adults ages 65 and older to those who are eligible to get the vaccine, as well as healthcare workers with direct patient contact. With scheduling for the event underway, Monday’s COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Chatham County Agriculture & Conference Center in Pittsboro will continue to focus on adults age 75 and older, and Groups 1 and 2 (as described below) will be eligible for future vaccination event scheduling. 

“These changes can be confusing for the public and local health departments across the state to navigate, but Chatham County is committed to working through these updated guidelines to get our community vaccinated,” said Chatham County Public Health Director Mike Zelek. “We are eager to get the vaccine to those who want it, and will continue to work with our partners to get Chatham County immunized against COVID-19. It will take time, and we appreciate the patience and support of the Chatham community as we carry out this important work.”

To be added to a list of eligible individuals to be notified when appointments are available, follow the instructions at web site. In addition to the Chatham County Public Health Department, UNC Health is scheduling appointments to get the COVID-19 vaccine. This includes sites in Siler City and Chapel Hill, among others, and both UNC Health patients and non-UNC Health patients are eligible. For more information, visit here or call 984-215-5485.

CCPHD will adhere to the updated prioritization criteria as outlined by NCDHHS. Those groups are:

Group 1: Health care workers fighting COVID-19 and long-term care staff and residents

  • Health care workers with in-person patient contact. This includes, among others: dentists, home health aides, nurses, optometrists, pharmacists and physical therapists. 
  • Long-term care staff and residents: people in skilled nursing facilities, adult care homes and continuing care retirement communities.
  • For more on Group 1, go here.

Group 2: Older adults

  • Anyone 65 years or older, regardless of health status or living situation

Group 3: Frontline essential workers

  • The CDC defines frontline essential workers as workers who are in sectors essential to the functioning of society and who are at substantially higher risk for exposure to COVID-19.

Group 4: Adults at high risk for exposure and increased risk of severe illness

  • Anyone 16-64 years old with high-risk medical conditions that increase risk of severe disease from COVID-19 such as cancer, COPD, serious heart conditions, sickle cell disease, Type 2 diabetes, among others, regardless of living situation
  • Anyone who is incarcerated or living in other close group living settings who is not already vaccinated due to age, medical condition or job function
  • Essential workers not yet vaccinated. The CDC defines these as workers in transportation and logistics, water and wastewater, food service, shelter and housing (e.g., construction), finance (e.g., bank tellers), information technology and communications, energy, legal, media, public safety (e.g., engineers) and public health workers

Group 5: Everyone who wants a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination 

The department will be updating residents through its social media channels, website and other means as new information becomes available. To learn more about COVID-19 vaccination efforts in Chatham County, visit The Chatham County Public Health Department can be found online at and