NEW HANOVER COUNTY – The New Hanover County Pandemic Operations Center is now offering the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine to those 12 and older.
This week, the Food and Drug Administration expanded Emergency Use Authorization to Novavax, adding eligibility to those 12-17 years old. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also agreed with the recommendation.
“As everyone is getting ready to head back into a classroom, it is important to know there is now another option for kids and teens to get vaccinated,” said Pandemic Operations manager Jon Campbell. “COVID-19 can be transmitted through the air and the more people you have in an indoor space, the more virus particles can be transmitted. So as students are sitting in classrooms, it’s important to keep in mind the things that can keep them safe like vaccinations and improving ventilation where possible.”
At this time, Novavax is a primary series vaccination and is not authorized for use as a booster. Anyone 12 and older that is not yet vaccinated, is now eligible to receive the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine. This is a 2-dose series given 3 weeks apart.
Novavax and all other COVID vaccines are being offered free of charge at the Pandemic Operations Center (1507 Greenfield Street in Wilmington), along with boosters, and testing. Members of the community are also encouraged to pick up free at-home tests and masks at the center during operating hours.
Appointments are recommended but not required and can be made by visiting TakeMyShot.NC.gov. Vaccines and boosters will be available during the following days and times:
- Mondays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Tuesdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Thursdays from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Fridays from 1-5 p.m.
The Pandemic Operations Center is also offering no cost rapid testing. An appointment is recommended and can be made by visiting this link, but again it is not required. Rapid tests will be available during the following days and times:
- Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
- Fridays from 9 a.m.-noon
For more information on the Pandemic Operations Center, vaccines, boosters, or testing, visit Health.NHCgov.com/Coronavirus or call the Pandemic Operations Call Center at 910-798-6800.
Community Level returns to Low
New Hanover County is back in the Low CDC Community Level this week after being in Medium for most of the summer. Declining case rate in New Hanover County has allowed for the change in level. This week’s case rate fell below 200 cases per 100,000 for the first time in seven weeks. New Hanover County moved to the Medium Community Level back on July 8 and has remained there since.
“Getting back into the Low CDC Community Level is something to celebrate,” said Campbell. “The impact to our healthcare system has remained low showing that as the virus changes a combination of the protective measures, we have available, like the vaccine, have been able to help prevent severe illness and now our case rate is falling as well. We are getting ready to move into cooler weather and more indoor activities where we know viruses like COVID-19 can thrive, so celebrate the low level but remember that preventative measures like vaccines, hand washing, and proper ventilation indoors can keep us here.”
Recommended precautions for a Low Community Level include being fully vaccinated and boosted, and testing for COVID if you develop symptoms. Mask usage at this community level is optional. The CDC plans to update community levels weekly, so residents can check the CDC website here to know the current community impact level.
COVID-19 Community Data, as of August 26:
- New Hanover County’s percent positivity over the past 7 days 15.3 percent (this represents positive Molecular (PCR) tests as a percent of total PCR tests performed countywide).
- Approximately 64.1 percent of New Hanover County residents are considered fully vaccinated with either two doses Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of J&J.
- Since March 1, 2020, there have been 58,791 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Hanover County, resulting in 411 deaths.