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At Asheville Clinic, Cooper Pushes For Vaccinations To Hit June 1 Goal

Paul Barker
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper speaks to vaccine recipients at a clinic on the campus of AB Tech in Asheville Thursday

A day after announcing most COVID-19 restrictions could be lifted June 1st if two-thirds of state residents are partially vaccinated by that date, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper urged residents to get their shot during a visit to a vaccine clinic in Asheville. 

The Governor toured a vaccine clinic Thursday afternoon at A-B Tech.  On Wednesday, the same day he announced the June 1st goal, an 11-percent dropin vaccinations was reported nationally, in part because of the pause in use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.  Speaking to reporters after the tour, Cooper noted North Carolina has seen a similar drop.  But he believes it can be reversed if more vaccine-hesitant residents understood how quickly shots can be received now. 

"Some people may have heard how hard it was to get a shot and how everybody was waiting and hard to get appointments earlier...that's not the case anymore," Cooper said.  "Some may not realize how easy it is and how little time it takes (now)."

Cooper complimented how speedy the clinic at AB Tech was, noting it took less 30 minutes for some of those he spoke with there Thursday to receive a shot.  He was joined on the tour by Buncombe County director of public health Stacie Saunders and state health secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen.  Both Cooper and Cohen reiterated that until the two-thirds threshold is met, the state will not reconsider its mask-wearing mandate. 

Matt Bush joined Blue Ridge Public Radio as news director in August 2016. Excited at the opportunity the build up the news service for both stations as well as help launch BPR News, Matt made the jump to Western North Carolina from Washington D.C. For the 8 years prior to coming to Asheville, he worked at the NPR member station in the nation's capital as a reporter and anchor. Matt primarily covered the state of Maryland, including 6 years of covering the statehouse in Annapolis. Prior to that, he worked at WMAL in Washington and Metro Networks in Pittsburgh, the city he was born and raised in.
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