Health Department begins COVID-19 boosters

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) independent Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended certain populations receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after the completion of their Pfizer vaccine primary series. In addition, the CDC Director recommended a booster dose for those in high-risk occupational and institutional settings.

CDC now recommends:

• People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series;

• People aged 50 to 64 with certain underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series;

• People 18 to 49 who are at high risk for severe COVID-19 due to certain underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks; and

• People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.

ACIP will continue to meet to evaluate new data and may recommend booster shots for other populations and vaccine recipients soon.

Along with the recommendation, CDC and ACIP emphasized that the populations most vulnerable to COVID-19 are those who are unvaccinated, and the nation’s priority should remain getting everyone fully vaccinated.

The Moore County Health Department will offer booster doses by appointment only beginning Wednesday, Sept. 29.  Appointments for boosters must be scheduled by calling 910-947-SHOT (7468), and no walk-ins will be accepted. The Health Department’s appointment line is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Individuals should talk to their health care provider about their medical condition if they need help in determining whether getting a third dose is appropriate.

Medical records or proof of a medical condition are not required to receive a booster dose. Registration staff will verify your vaccination record in the NC COVID Vaccine Management System, or CVMS, to ensure you received both doses of either Pfizer or Moderna and you will be asked to attest or declare that you have underlying medical conditions

Ages 12 and up are currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Anyone age 12-15 seeking a COVID-19 vaccination must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who can provide consent. At this time, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is the only COVID-19 vaccine that has been authorized for use by people ages 12-17 years old. COVID-19 vaccines are free to everyone, regardless of whether you have health insurance.

The Moore County Health Department, located at 705 Pinehurst Avenue in Carthage, continues to offer weekly COVID-19 vaccine clinics to anyone seeking their first or second dose. Appointments can be made by calling 910-947-SHOT (7468) and walk-ins for first or second doses will also be accepted on vaccine clinic days which are held each Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Detailed information about COVID-19 vaccines can be found at www.YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov (English) or www.vacunate.nc.gov (Spanish). To find other vaccine providers near you, anywhere in North Carolina, you can use the vaccine locator tool found at www.myspot.nc.gov.

Photo by Sandhills Sentinel Photographer John Patota.

 

Contributed.

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