To strengthen and extend protections against severe illness, North Carolinians at high risk for serious illness or exposure who have been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine for six months or more can now receive a COVID-19 booster shot.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot is recommended for individuals who have been fully vaccinated for six months or more with the Pfizer vaccine. People who are 65 years or older, 18 years or older with underlying medical conditions or work in a high-risk setting like healthcare workers, teachers and childcare providers or food workers are eligible in North Carolina.
Who is Eligible
CDC recommends the following groups should get a COVID-19 booster if they have previously been vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer vaccine:
- 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.
"Pfizer boosters are now authorized for certain groups of individuals to extend the protection of vaccines against severe illness," said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. "If you are eligible, get your booster. If you aren’t vaccinated yet, don’t wait. The COVID-19 virus is more contagious than ever and we are seeing it attack the unvaccinated and make them very sick at an alarming rate."
Those eligible can find booster shots at their health care provider, pharmacies and other locations where COVID-19 vaccines are available. There is no need for people to go back to the location where they received their original vaccines — most COVID-19 vaccination locations can provide Pfizer boosters. Visit MySpot.nc.gov and check “Pfizer-BioNTech (age 12+)” to search locations and ensure Pfizer is available. The Orange County Health Department offers booster shots at both the Hillsborough and Chapel Hill walk-in clinics. Learn more at: www.orangecountync.gov/getyourshot.
If you have questions about whether to get a Pfizer booster, NCDHHS encourages you to talk to a medical professional to get their opinion. COVID-19 booster shots are different from the additional dose, also referred to as a third dose, that is recommended for certain immunocompromised people.
NCDHHS encourages everyone 12 and older to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and to continue to practice the 3 Ws — wear a mask, wait six feet apart and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer to protect yourself and others.
If you received the Moderna or J & J (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine, a booster shot is not recommended at this time.