RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is urging parents to get their children older than 5 the new COVID-19 booster shot.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the shots earlier this week for children between the ages of 5 and 11, and the Food and Drug Administration has authorized them for emergency use.

State Chief Medical Officer Dr. Betsey Tilson says it is safe for those children to get the COVID booster at the same time they receive their annual flu vaccine.

NCDHHS says 7 percent of vaccinated people in the state — more than 437,000 of them — already have received the new booster. That’s slightly above the national average of 5 percent, according to data from the CDC.