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RALEIGH — Advisors to the Food and Drug Administration announced Sept. 17 the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster shot is safe, effective and recommended for individuals who have been fully vaccinated for at least six months and are:

  • 65 years and older
  • At high risk of severe COVID-19
  • At high risk of occupational exposure

As a next step, the Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot must be reviewed and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to further define these groups before it will be made available for use, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. That meeting will take place Wednesday, Sept. 22.

“COVID-19 boosters are another effective way to fight this pandemic and prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen. “We look forward to the CDC’s final guidance next week so that we can begin administering booster shots in North Carolina when it is time to do so. In the meantime, if you’re not yet vaccinated, don’t wait. Get vaccinated today.”

NCDHHS will provide additional information related to eligibility of boosters but reminds North Carolinians that they are not yet available to the public until the CDC issues its final recommendations.

People 12 and older who are moderately to severely immunocompromised and fully vaccinated with either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are already eligible to receive an additional dose, according to NCDHHS. Studies indicate their immune systems do not always build the same level of immunity after vaccination compared to people who are not immunocompromised.

NCDHHS encourages everyone 12 and older to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and to continue to practice the 3Ws – wear a mask, wait six feet apart and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer to protect yourself and others.

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

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