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See the latest news and updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

Mecklenburg County Health Department Will Offer COVID Booster Shots Starting Monday

A patient receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a Novant Health clinic at Spectrum Center on Feb. 13.
© Novant Health 2021
A patient receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a Novant Health clinic at Spectrum Center on Feb. 13.

Mecklenburg County’s health department will start administering Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots in its clinics starting Monday. Gibbie Harris, the county’s public health director, said in a statement Friday morning that her agency was awaiting clinical guidance from federal and local health officials.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday endorsed booster shots for millions of older or otherwise vulnerable Americans, including people 65 and older, nursing home residents, those 50 and older with risky underlying health problems and frontline workers at increased risk of being exposed to the virus. The extra dose would be given once they are at least six months past their last Pfizer shot.

On Thursday afternoon, Harris said the county health department had no plans to require proof that people who go to its clinics seeking a booster are eligible under the guidance.

But she added: “We would need your card that shows you got two doses of Pfizer so we could give you the third dose of Pfizer.”

According to Harris, the county also has no plans to open any mass vaccination clinics to administer booster shots.

“We’ve got a number of places where (the) vaccine is available, whether that’s pharmacies, whether that’s your doctor’s office,” Harris said. She added that reduces the need for large-throughput vaccination locations.

In an emailed statement Thursday afternoon, North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services said it was awaiting guidance from federal health agencies, including the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. The agency said it would “provide additional information related to eligibility” for boosters following ACIP’s recommendations.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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Claire Donnelly is WFAE's health reporter. She previously worked at NPR member station KGOU in Oklahoma and also interned at WBEZ in Chicago and WAMU in Washington, D.C. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and attended college at the University of Virginia, where she majored in Comparative Literature and Spanish. Claire is originally from Richmond, Virginia. Reach her at cdonnelly@wfae.org or on Twitter @donnellyclairee.