Teens ages 16, 17 can get Pfizer booster shots starting Monday

12December 2021

— Teenagers ages 16 and 17 can get a Pfizer coronavirus booster shot starting Monday in Durham and Wake Counties.

Anyone who received a Pfizer or Moderna shot at least six months ago and is over 16 can receive a booster shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that anyone who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago get a booster shot.

People are able to mix and match booster shots, according to the CDC. If someone got vaccinated with Moderna or Johnson & Johnson, they are able to get a Pfizer booster shot.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases, said on Friday the latest COVID-19 variant, omicron, is able to evade vaccines quite well. But, data shows that a booster shot will likely prevent someone from getting sick from the latest variant.

Health officials across the country are encouraging Americans to get a booster shot once they are eligible. So far, only 26% of fully vaccinated Americans have received a booster shot, according to CDC data.

Around 30% of people fully vaccinated in North Carolina have received a booster dose, data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Service shows.

A recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation showed some parents were still on the face about letting their children get vaccinated. The poll showed that nearly a third – or 32 percent – of parents wanted to wait and see how the vaccine worked for other children first.

About 3 in 10 parents reported that they had no plans to get their children vaccinated.

But, family physician Dr. Nicole Swiner said an initial shoot and booster shots are an extra line of protection before the holidays.

“I’m really happy [teenagers] are able to get their boosters now because if they get it now, they’ll be immunized before Christmas [and] before getting together for the holidays, for New Year’s and all the celebrations I know as humans we’re not going to avoid,” said Swiner.

Vaccination sites in Wake county offering boosters to teens:

  • Wake County Human Services Center on 5809 Departure Drive in Raleigh, open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Wake County Public Health Center on 10 Sunnybrook Road in Raleigh, open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Wake County Northern Regional Center on 350 E. Holding Ave. in Wake Forest, open Monday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday and Tuesday from 11:45 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Wake County Southern Regional Center on 130 N. Judd Parkway NE in Fuquay-Varina, open on Tuesday and Thursday from 11:45 a.m. to 7:15 p.m., Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Wake County Eastern Regional Center on 1002 Dogwood Drive in Zebulon, open on Tuesday and Thursday from 11:45 a.m. to 7:15 p.m., Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The booster shots are free of cost and health insurance is not required. Health officials ask that people bring their vaccination cards to the vaccine site.

“Hopefully, we can start using the tools we have to start fighting [the virus,]” said Swiner.

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