3rd COVID-19 vaccine dose now being offered as Wake County extends testing hours

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Wake County Public Health is expanding free drive-thru COVID-19 testing at five county locations due to an explosion in testing demand and an increase in community spread, county officials said in a news release last week.

Beginning Monday, all five of the county’s free drive-thru testing locations are now operating Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. County vaccine locations will also be offering a third vaccine dose for those with weakened immune systems, the county announced Monday.

Demand for testing in Wake County has more than doubled, and the positivity rate has climbed more than 80 percent over the last two weeks, the release said.

All sites use self-administered PCR tests that “are painless and require people to swab just inside their nose,” according to the release. The testing is free and no ID or appointment is necessary.

Results for the PCR tests often come back within 12 to 24 hours.

“Testing is a great way to help curb the spread of COVID-19, but an even better tool to end this pandemic is vaccination,” said Wake County Board of Commissioners Chair Matt Calabria in the release. “At four of these five testing locations, there are free vaccines available just steps away, so we hope everyone who is tested returns after their results or quarantine and gets a shot.”

The following locations will offer testing 12 hours a day, six days a week starting Monday:

  • Wake County Human Services-Swinburne
    2845 Kidd Road, Raleigh
  • Wake County Northern Regional Center
    350 E. Holding Ave., Wake Forest
  • Vision RDU Church
    5808 Departure Drive, Raleigh
  • Wake County Southern Regional Center
    130 N. Judd Parkway, Fuquay-Varina
  • Wake County Eastern Regional Center
    1002 Dogwood Drive, Zebulon

CBS 17 spent the morning out at the Kidd Road location where volunteers greeted car after car Monday as dozens lined up for a COVID-19 test. It’s the second week of long lines at several testing sites in Wake County.

Some who were at the Kidd Road location said they traveled from other cities to get tested in Raleigh.

“We came the whole way over from like almost Durham. We had tried to get in at CVS and Walgreens and there’s no appointments available. We tried to get a test earlier last week and weren’t able to so I think these might have to pop up a little bit more frequently,” said Kristen Robinson.

Some people visited the testing site due to COVID exposure. Others went in order to comply with the new vaccination or negative COVID test requirement for local entertainment events, like the Dead & Company concert happening tonight at the Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek in Raleigh.

“It’s a big venue so I think it’s smart that a big venue like that, even though it’s outside, they should make sure that everybody’s good,” said Paul, a Raleigh resident and concert attendee.

Monday wasn’t just about longer testing hours in Wake County.

Wake County health officials said that, following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they will begin administering third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine “to people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems who already received two doses of either Pfizer or Moderna.”

“We need to ensure that everyone, especially those people who are most vulnerable to COVID-19, get as much protection as possible from vaccination,” said Dr. Kim McDonald, Wake County Public Health Medical Director in a news release. “With hospitalizations increasing more than 100 percent over the past two weeks and the Delta variant spreading quickly across Wake County, we’re looking forward to offering third vaccine doses to people with weakened immune systems, because it could help prevent serious illness or possibly death.”

County health officials said that “You should talk to your healthcare provider about your medical condition to determine whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for you.”

The CDC recommends third doses to the following populations:

  • Cancer patients undergoing active treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood;
  • Organ transplant recipients who are taking medicine to suppress their immune systems;
  • Stem cell transplant recipients who are less than two years out from their transplant and taking medicine to suppress their immune systems;
  • Anyone with moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome);
  • Anyone with advanced or an untreated HIV infection; and
  • Anyone receiving high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress their immune response.

Appointments aren’t needed to get the third dose, officials said. When arriving for a third shot, registration staff “will find your vaccination record in the NC COVID Vaccine Management System, or CVMS, to ensure you received both doses of either Pfizer or Moderna.” If you would like to bring your vaccine card, you can do so. Everyone getting their third shot will need to sign a digital form declaring that they are immunocompromised, health officials said.

The following five county locations are offering third doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines:

Wake County Human Services Center
5809 Departure Drive, Raleigh
Vaccine Brand: Pfizer
8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Wake County Public Health Center
10 Sunnybrook Road, Raleigh
Vaccine Brand: Pfizer

Wake County Northern Regional Center
350 E. Holding Ave., Wake Forest
Vaccine Brand: Moderna
Monday & Friday
8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Tuesday & Thursday
12:30–7:30 p.m.

9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Wake County Southern Regional Center
130 N. Judd Parkway NE, Fuquay-Varina
Vaccine Brand: Moderna

Wake County Eastern Regional Center
1002 Dogwood Drive, Zebulon
Vaccine Brand: Pfizer
Tuesday & Thursday
12:30–7:30 p.m.

Wednesday & Friday
8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Click here for more information on getting vaccinated in Wake County.

Click here for more information on COVID-19 services that are offered in Wake County.

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