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All 3 COVID-19 boosters are available in NC: Here's who is eligible for the shot

North Carolina residents can now choose which vaccine brand they get for a booster, with Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters available statewide.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — COVID-19 booster shots are now available in North Carolina for people who received either the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsed boosters for certain people who received their vaccine months ago. Pfizer vaccine recipients were already eligible for boosters, provided they meet certain criteria from the CDC. So far, 66% of adults in North Carolina are fully vaccinated

"Today’s announcement expands eligibility to more North Carolinians who could benefit from additional protection against COVID-19," Secretary Mandy Cohen said. "If you aren’t yet vaccinated, don’t wait. We are seeing this virus attack those who are unvaccinated at a much higher rate than those who are vaccinated."

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Recent data from NCDHHS shows that 91% of people who got COVID-19 this year had not been vaccinated. The state has reported over 907,000 cases of COVID-19 in 2021. To date, 82,962 cases were considered "post-vaccination," with the majority of them being mild or asymptomatic.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE MODERNA BOOSTER IN NORTH CAROLINA?

The Moderna COVID-19 booster, which is a half-dose of the original vaccine, is now available for the following people: 

  • 65 and older
  • 18 years and older, who also:
    • Live or work in a nursing home or long-term care facility
    • Have underlying health conditions
    • Work in high-risk settings, like health care workers, teachers and child care providers
    • Live or work in a play where many people live together (examples include homeless shelters, prisons, and dorms or other group settings in colleges or universities)

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR A JOHNSON & JOHNSON BOOSTER IN NORTH CAROLINA?

The Johnson & Johnson booster is recommended for any person who received the J&J single-dose vaccine at least two months ago. 

CAN I MIX VACCINE BRANDS?

Yes. People are now able to receive any brand of the COVID-19 vaccine for their booster shot. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine they originally received while others may prefer a different booster. 

NCDHHS said limited preliminary evidence suggests that the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines more effectively raise antibodies than the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

WHY DO I NEED A BOOSTER?

People who are fully vaccinated are still strong protected against hospitalization and death from COVID-19. But immunity against infection can wane over time, and the extra-contagious delta variant is spreading widely. U.S. health authorities want to shore up protection in at-risk people who were vaccinated months ago, though the priority remains getting the unvaccinated their first shots. 

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