Frontline workers 'happy' to roll up sleeve for new vaccine phase

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The new vaccination phase is offering thousands of people an added layer of protection.

North Carolina leaders are expanding eligibility, and people who work at restaurants, grocery stores, meatpacking plants, farms, fisheries or distribution sites are among those who can soon sign up.

A couple of NC State Wolfline bus drivers said they are ready to roll up their sleeves after months of rolling around campus and transporting students.

"I'm really happy, and I'm glad that my colleagues will get it," Wolfline driver Kita Faison said.

The changes are also offering new opportunities for some.

The Third Place Coffee Shop is a popular neighborhood spot in the Five Points section of Raleigh, and now people can sit out with a coffee or grab a cup at the to-go window. Customers have not been allowed inside the shop since March.

Owner David Benson is getting ready to reopen his indoor dining area and ordered a bunch of air filtration systems on Tuesday.

He said he feels comfortable making this move now that vaccination efforts are kicking up and his own staffers can get the shot.

"You want to keep your consumers safe," Benson said.

He is even digging into his own pocket and offering a $50 incentive to encourage employees to take the cautionary measure and get vaccinated.

"I think they should get it, everybody should," Benson said.

Frontline essential workers in Group 3 can sign up beginning Wednesday.
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