NEW HANOVER COUNTY – Following Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance, the administration of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 booster shots to individuals who are 12 years or older at the New Hanover County Pandemic Operations Center has been temporarily paused until new boosters designed to target both the alpha and omicron variant of COVID-19 are received.
On Wednesday, the FDA granted Emergency Use Authorization to updated COVID-19 boosters from Pfizer and Moderna. These updated boosters are designed to build protection from the alpha and omicron variants of the virus. The Pfizer booster is authorized for distribution to those 12 and older, while Moderna can be given to those 18 and up. Before these new boosters are allowed to be administered to the public, they must also be reviewed and recommended by the CDC’s Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices.
So, the Pandemic Operations Center is following FDA guidance and has paused offering Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 booster vaccines to individuals 12 and older until the updated boosters are available. Staff from the Pandemic Operations team is working with impacted individuals to reschedule previously made appointments. Children ages 5-11 can still receive boosters at the Pandemic Operations Center.
“The COVID-19 virus has continued to change, and these new boosters have been built to better target the version of the virus we are seeing,” said Pandemic Operations manager Jon Campbell. “These updated boosters are bivalent meaning they target two different variants of the COVID-19 virus, the original and the omicron variants. We look forward to offering the new boosters as soon as we can, which we anticipate will be sometime next week, so we know we are giving the community the most up-to-date and effective protection against COVID.”
The Pandemic Operations Center (located at 1507 Greenfield Street) is continuing to offer COVID-19 resources including initial vaccines, limited boosters and on-site testing. Members of the community are also encouraged to come pick up free at-home tests and masks during operating hours.
Appointments for initial vaccines and limited boosters are recommended but not required and can be made by visiting TakeMyShot.NC.gov. Vaccines and limited boosters will be available during the following days and times (Please note: The Pandemic Operations Center will be closed on Monday, September 5 in observance of Labor Day):
- 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.