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Pfizer booster shots available for high-risk groups

RALEIGH — 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-BioNTech (COMINARTY) vaccine for six months or more can now receive a COVID-19 booster shot.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week announced the Pfizer-BioNTech (COMIRNATY) COVID-19 booster shot is recommended for individuals who have been fully vaccinated for six months or more with the Pfizer-BioNTech 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.

“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 CDC’s decision follows the Food and Drug Administration authorizing boosters for certain populations on Wednesday, Sept. 22.

If you have questions about whether to get a Pfizer booster, NCDHHS encourages you to talk to a medical professional to get their opinion.

North Carolina’s actions are based on recommendations from the CDC.

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 have questions about Pfizer COVID-19 boosters, you can also join NCDHHS’s upcoming Town Hall featuring Dr. Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson, State Health Director and NCDHHS Chief Medical Officer on Monday, Sept. 27, 5:30-6 p.m. by dialing (855) 756-7520 and entering 76072# when prompted.

Visit MySpot.nc.gov for more COVID-19 information and updates and to find a vaccine location near you.