No-cost booster doses will be administered starting Tuesday
Following approvals and guidance from the Food & Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and N.C. Department of Health and Human Services late Friday, Wake County Public Health will open up its appointment system today for booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Appointments will only be open to certain populations who already received their first two doses of Pfizer at least six months ago.
“Our priority continues to be providing opportunities for everyone to receive their first and second doses of the vaccine,” said Wake County Board of Commissioners Chair Matt Calabria. “It’s also vital that we offer booster doses to further protect those who are already vaccinated but are still at high risk of severe illness and exposure to the virus.”
Who is eligible for a booster dose?
According to the CDC, the following groups should get a booster dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their second Pfizer dose:
- Adults 65+
- Residents of long-term care settings
- People 50-64 with underlying medical conditions
And the following groups may get a booster dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their second Pfizer dose if they have considered their personal risks and benefits:
- People 18-49 with underlying medical conditions
- People 18-64 who live or work somewhere that puts them at high risk of getting COVID-19
These recommendations are ONLY for those who received the original two-dose series of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC has not authorized booster doses for those who received a COVID-19 vaccine by Moderna or Johnson & Johnson (Janssen). Both of those manufacturers have submitted data on boosters to the FDA and there will be more information in the coming weeks.
People should talk to their healthcare provider if they have any questions about whether a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster shot is appropriate for them.
How can I get a booster dose?
Those seeking a booster shot can go to any provider that has Pfizer vaccine as long as it has been six months after their initial series of Pfizer. Recipients do NOT need to go back to the place where they received the first two doses. All five of Wake County Public Health’s vaccine clinics, which run six days a week and include evening and Saturday hours, are open for Pfizer booster appointments. Walk-ins are no longer permitted. You can also call the N.C. COVID-19 Help Line at 1-888-675-4567.
There is no cost, no ID, no insurance and no proof of medical condition or employment required. YOU MUST BRING YOUR VACCINE CARD. Staff will check the N.C. COVID-19 Vaccine Management System to confirm your vaccination record. You will be asked to self-attest that you are from the eligible populations for a Pfizer booster.
What do I need to do after my booster shot?
Please sign-up for V-Safe, a symptom checker that will send you occasional texts to ask you how you’re feeling and allow you to report any symptoms. It’s critically important, and it only takes two minutes to answer the questions. It’s the best way to help keep vaccines safe. Go to vsafe.cdc.gov to sign up.
Even after receiving this booster dose, people should continue follow the 3Ws - wearing a mask, waiting six feet apart from others they do not live with and washing hands frequently. They should also avoid crowds and poorly ventilated areas.
Wake County encourages everyone to get vaccinated. No-cost COVID-19 vaccines are available to anyone 12 and older at dozens of providers in the county by appointment or walk-in.