Booster shots recommended to fight COVID-19 | New

HENDERSON – The Granville-Vance public health department is offering reminders to people who have received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in two injections.

The United States Centers for Disease Control has recommended the recall for people 65 years of age and older, residents of long-term care facilities, and people 18 to 64 years of age who have underlying health conditions or who work in high risk professional or institutional settings.

Granville-Vance Director of Public Health Lisa Harrison said her department offers the booster, along with the first and second injections, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at its Oxford locations and from Henderson.

No appointment is necessary.

Department of Health facilities are located at 115 Charles Rollins Road in Henderson and 101 Hunt Drive in Oxford,

For those requesting the booster, Harrison reminds them to bring the vaccination card issued when they received their first doses.

Federal regulators weighed in on a green light on Wednesday for booster injections of the other major variants of the vaccine. At around 5 p.m., the Associated Press reported that the United States Food and Drug Administration had approved the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine recalls.

The news service also reported that the FDA would allow anyone eligible for an additional dose to get a different brand than the one they initially received.

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The CDC, however, must weigh in on guidelines on who should get Moderna or Johnson & Johnson boosters, and when.

The Moderna booster will be for the elderly and others at high risk of COVID-19, and will be half a dose of the original two injections, the AP reported.

COVID-19 vaccines are also available at local hospitals, doctor’s offices, pharmacies and a number of community organizations, although many do not offer the booster.

With the pandemic still rampant, medical authorities continue to urge residents to get vaccinated.

CDC data shows that as of Wednesday, 62.2% of Granville County residents over the age of 12 are fully immunized. In Vance County, 57.9% of residents over the age of 12 are fully immunized, as are 55.1% of those in Warren County.

Data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services indicates that COVID-19 vaccines are not administered equally among different demographic groups, with minorities receiving the vaccine at somewhat lower rates than those in the general population.

To bridge this gap, Gang Free Inc., a local nonprofit, has embarked on a regional effort to provide COVID-19 vaccines to traditionally underserved populations.

Gang Free founder Henderson City Councilor Melissa Elliott said her organization has partnered with Ottendorf Laboratories to organize numerous vaccination clinics in Vance, Warren, Franklin and Durham counties.

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