COVID-19 vaccine boosters now available; Options for kids 5-11 continue to expand

Pittsboro, NC – Booster shots for the COVID-19 vaccine are now available for all people ages 18 and older, and options for children ages 5-11 continue to expand in Chatham County.

While North Carolina and Chatham County have seen a decrease in COVID-19 cases since the Delta variant’s peak in late summer, Chatham continues to experience substantial levels of community transmission of the virus. Just over half of county residents are fully vaccinated, and the Chatham County Public Health Department continues to encourage all who are eligible to get vaccinated.

“As we enter winter and the holiday season, COVID-19 cases will likely increase,” said Chatham County Public Health Director Mike Zelek. “The COVID-19 vaccine offers the best protection against illness. Also, to further reduce the risk of spread to family and loved ones, we encourage you to get a COVID-19 test before attending a holiday gathering.”

Booster Shots Now Available for All Ages 18 and Older

On Friday, November 19th, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that all adults aged 18 and older who received their last dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months ago are eligible to receive a booster shot.

If it has been at least six months since getting the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine:

  • You should get a booster if you are ages 50 year or older or ages 18 years and older and live in a long-term care setting.
  • You may get a booster if you are ages 18 years and older.

If it has been at least two months since getting the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you should get a booster if you are 18 years or older.

Booster shots are available in most locations offering the COVID-19 vaccine. To find a location near you, visit www.vaccines.gov.

According to the announcement, the “CDC continues to encourage the 47 million adults who are not yet vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect themselves, their families, loved ones and communities. We also strongly encourage those who were already eligible – older populations and individuals with underlying medical conditions – to get boosted before the holidays.”

Children Need the COVID-19 Vaccine Too

Since the COVID-19 vaccine became available for children ages 5-11 in early November, more than 85,000 in North Carolina have received their first doses, including over 700 in Chatham County.

In addition to pediatricians’ offices, there are multiple providers offering the vaccine for 5-11 year-olds across the county.

The CCPHD has established English- and Spanish-language webpages with information about the COVID-19 vaccine for children. Residents can find the English-language page at chathamcountync.gov/vaccinekids and the Spanish-language page at chathamcountync.gov/vacunaninos.

Additionally, Kimberly Houston, the school nurse at Woods Charter School, recently shared with the CCPHD why kids should be vaccinated, including her children. The video premiered on YouTube in English and Spanish on Monday, alongside a video of Kelsie Houston, a 5th-grader and Kimberly Houston’s daughter, explaining why she got vaccinated. To see the videos, visit here.

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and the CCPHD’s vaccination plans, visit chathamcountync.gov/coronavirusvaccine. To learn more about the Chatham County Public Health Department, visit chathamcountync.gov/publichealth or facebook.com/chathamhealth.