Some in Raleigh decide to get COVID-19 vaccine booster shot now that it’s widely available

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Pfizer’s COVID-19 booster shots are now widely available for certain people who are at high risk for the virus.

Without hesitation, Ellis Hankins signed up to get his booster shot Sunday at Walgreens.

“I got it because the CDC recommends it for people my age. I’m in that elderly group, not much, but in it. And I care about my own health and the health of my family and everyone else,” Hankins said of why he wanted the booster.

He added, “I believe in sound science and they [The CDC] are practicing sound science. So I’m taking their recommendation.”

Pfizer’s COVID-19 booster shot is only available to people who have received the first two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The CDC recommends the booster for people who are 65+ or who are ages 18 to 64 with underlying medical conditions.

Adults living in long-term care facilities or who are frontline workers or in high-risk settings are also eligible for the booster.

“I got it just to be better protected. I got up at 5 a.m. on Saturday to make my reservation,” said John Griffith, who also got his booster shot on Sunday.

Most people told CBS 17 booking a booster appointment was easy, but when 66-year-old Frederick McDuffey walked into the Walgreens in the Village District, he says he got turned away.

“I shop at this store often and I asked the pharmacist back there when could I be eligible for a booster shot because I’m 65 and older and she said that they haven’t got the OK yet and they should have it by next week,” said McDuffey. “They told me to come back next week either online or I could walk in.”

When CBS 17 called Walgreens, someone on the staff confirmed boosters were widely available. It’s unclear why McDuffey was told to come back another day.

McDuffey says he plans on trying again Monday.

Reginald McNeil tells CBS 17 he’s ready for a booster shot but wants to wait until he asks his doctor about it first. The soon-to-be 54-year-old says he’ll do anything to celebrate another birthday.

“Any means necessary to keep me going,” McNeil said of getting a booster shot. “I’m willing to take that next step.”

If you have questions about Pfizer COVID-19 boosters, you can join NCDHHS’s upcoming Town Hall featuring Dr. Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson, State Health Director and NCDHHS Chief Medical Officer on Monday, Sept. 27, from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. by dialing (855) 756-7520 and entering 76072# when prompted.

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