Cooper provides update on state’s COVID-19 trends, encourages vaccination

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RALEIGH — On Wednesday, Gov. Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy K. Cohen provided an update on the state’s COVID-19 key metrics and trends.

“We are grateful to see this latest surge in COVID-19 taper off,” said Cooper. “And as we try to drive down our numbers, we know what works. Vaccines. The more people who get their shots, the less COVID we’ll have.”

COVID-19 vaccine booster shots are now available for more North Carolinians. The Food and Drug Administration has authorized, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommend Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 booster shots to help strengthen and extend protections against COVID-19 infections. Pfizer-BioNTech (COMINARTY) booster shots have been available since Sept. 24.

“I am encouraged to see that every day more people are making the decision to get vaccinated,” said Cohen. “Getting vaccinated is a powerful action you can take to protect your health, to protect your loved ones, and to help end this pandemic at last.”

To date, North Carolina has administered over 11.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 66 percent of the adult population fully vaccinated. Seventy-one percent of adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine, including 92 percent of North Carolinians 65 and older.

Vaccines may be available for younger children as early as the end of next week. Yesterday, the independent advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration recommended the use of Pfizer’s vaccine in children 5 to 11 years. Once the CDC completes its review process, there will be ample vaccine supply across the state. More than 750 locations are preparing to provide vaccines to this age group, including doctors’ offices, pharmacies, local health departments, community vaccination events and family vaccination sites.

The CDC recommends boosters for everyone who received the Johnson & Johnson shot more than two months ago. Boosters are also recommended for people who received the Moderna or Pfizer shot more than six months ago if you are 65 or older, if you are 18 or older and have a medical condition that puts you at higher risk or if you live or work in a setting that puts you at higher risk for exposure to COVID-19.

More information about COVID-19 vaccine boosters and additional doses is available on NCDHHS’s website. For more information about COVID-19 vaccines in North Carolina or to find a vaccine location, visit MySpot.nc.gov or call the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Help Center for free at 888-675-4567.

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