Following the recent recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Moore County Health Department will begin administering third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine starting Wednesday, August 25 to people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems who have already received two doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
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.
The CDC does not recommend additional doses or booster shots for any other population at this time, including those who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Third doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine should be given at least 28 days after a second dose and should be the same brand as the first and second dose. The FDA and CDC continue to analyze data and will provide further guidance as needed.
Individuals should talk to their health care provider about their medical condition to determine whether getting a third dose is appropriate.
The CDC recommends third doses to:
• Cancer patients undergoing active treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood;
• Organ transplant recipients who are taking medicine to suppress their immune systems;
• Stem cell transplant recipients who are less than two years out from their transplant and taking medicine to suppress their immune systems;
• Anyone with moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome);
• Anyone with advanced or an untreated HIV infection; and
• Anyone receiving high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress their immune response.
“With hospitalizations and case counts rapidly increasing over the last few weeks, we want to provide the most protection possible from vaccination, particularly to one of our most vulnerable populations — the immunocompromised,” said Health Director Robert Wittmann.
Medical records or proof of a weakened immune system is 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 are immunocompromised.
Ages 12 and up are currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Anyone age 12-17 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 COVID19 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.
Rigorous clinical trials among thousands of people ages 12 and older, have proved vaccines are safe and effective, said the Moore County Health Department. In the United States, 357 million doses have been given so far. In the last week, an average of 768,951 doses per day were administered. Vaccines are the best protection from COVID-19 related hospitalizations and deaths, as well as complications from the virus, said the Moore County Health Department.
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, you can use the vaccine locator tool found at www.myspot.nc.gov.
Feature photo by Sandhills Sentinel Photographer Melissa Schaub.