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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — Next week, the University of North Carolina System will receive 20,000 COVID-19 vaccines as it prepares to vaccinate students, a news release said Friday.

On Thursday, Gov. Roy Cooper announced that all adults in North Carolina will be eligible to receive the vaccine beginning April 7.

According to the news release, more than 27,000 vaccinations have already been administered at 12 clinics running at UNC institutions. The system has been preparing to ensure each campus is ready to get shots in students’ arms.

Students will not be required to get the vaccine, but it will be “strongly recommended,” the release said.

“We want to send a clear message to encourage students to get their shot,” said UNC System President Peter Hans. “These vaccinations will help us send students home safely at the end of the semester and return our universities safely to normal operations in the fall, so that our students can have the full college experience they need and deserve. We want to do our part to bring this terrible pandemic to an end.”

Community clinics have been operating at Appalachian State University, East Carolina University, North Carolina A&T University, North Carolina Central University, UNC-Asheville, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Pembroke, UNC-Wilmington, and Western Carolina University. These clinics will continue to operate with an emphasis on reaching underserved and rural populations, the system said.

In addition, Winston-Salem State University is serving as a satellite site as part of the FEMA operation in the state. North Carolina State University and UNC-Chapel Hill are running clinics for faculty, staff, and students.

Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and UNC-Charlotte will either open clinics or provide student vaccinations through health care partners within the next two weeks, the release said.