Wake County readies vaccination sites in anticipation of booster shots’ approval

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Tens of thousands of people in Wake County could soon be eligible for a third vaccine dose, according to a spokesperson for the county.

The county is making changes to vaccination sites in anticipation of booster shots potentially being approved for senior citizens.

Starting Monday, appointments will be required at county-run sites.

“Wake County is definitely getting ready for it in amping up the hours, amping up the staff, and shifting to appointment only,” said Stacy Beard, spokeswoman for Wake County.

Beard said the changes will allow the county to administer more than 2,000 shots a day, doubling their capacity.

On Friday, an FDA advisory panel recommended Pfizer boosters for those 65 and older. It voted against boosters for younger Americans.

A CDC advisory panel makes its recommendations this week. Then the CDC and states could potentially sign off on boosters.

“I think people who are older, 60 or 65 and above, prepare yourself,” UNC infectious disease specialist Dr. David Wohl said. “You’re gonna be eligible to get a booster really soon, I would be shocked if we don’t see that. Moderna, probably soon thereafter, or maybe at the same time, we’ll see if they kind of grandfather that in. J&J, I don’t know, that’s the head-scratcher, and we need to address that.”

Currently, the only people eligible for a third dose are immunocompromised people who received Pfizer or Moderna. Beard said the county gives about 150 boosters to immunocompromised individuals a day.

“They will attest, they will sign their name that they meet the criteria of immunocompromised as defined by the CDC,” Beard said. “So it is an honor system, but they sign their name and attest that they are immunocompromised by those definitions.”

As third doses are in the spotlight, Wohl is urging everyone to make sure they get their first and second doses.

“The good news right is, three vaccines are out there, they work tremendously well, and they are still working well despite the Delta variant,” Wohl said.

For people getting booster doses, Beard said you don’t have to go to the same location as your original shot. She recommends that people who could become eligible locate their vaccine card because it will make registering for a booster dose quicker.

Click here to make a vaccine appointment in Wake County, and click here for pop-up vaccine events, which do allow walk-ins.

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