TRANSYLVANIA PUBLIC HEALTH
An FDA advisory panel has recommended booster doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for ages 65 and older and adults at high risk of severe illness because of underlying medical conditions or exposure at work. The panel also recommended a second dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to be given at least 2 months after the first dose. The FDA is expected to take action on these recommendations soon. If the current EUAs are extended to include additional doses of these vaccines, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and CDC will then make specific recommendations for populations that should receive a booster dose of these vaccines. Later this month, the FDA will meet to consider authorizing the use of a smaller dose of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11.
Transylvania Public Health offers free in-office COVID-19 vaccinations Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. No appointment is needed. The health department is currently offering single doses of Johnson & Johnson for ages 18 and older, first and second doses of Pfizer for ages 12 and older, first and second doses of Moderna for ages 18 and older, additional doses of Pfizer and Moderna for immunocompromised individuals, and booster doses of Pfizer for individuals in high-risk groups. Please call 884-4007 for more information. Our clinic is located on the 3rd floor of the Community Services Building at 106 E. Morgan St. in downtown Brevard. For second or additional doses, please bring the vaccination card given when you received your first dose; if you do not have a card, we can verify your vaccination status using the state database as long as you received your first dose in North Carolina.
COVID-19 vaccines are also available in Transylvania County from Blue Ridge Health Center-Brevard Health Center, Gordon’s Family Pharmacy, Ingles Pharmacy, Walgreen’s, Wal-Mart Pharmacy, and some private providers. Specific availability of each vaccine may vary; you can call each vaccine provider for more information about which vaccines they are currently offering.
COVID-19 vaccines manufactured by Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are available under FDA emergency use authorization for everyone ages 18 or older. The COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech has received full FDA approval for individuals ages 16 or older and is available under emergency use authorization for ages 12 to 15 years.
Additional and booster doses have been recommended for specific populations, but all 3 COVID-19 vaccines approved and authorized in the U.S. continue to be effective at reducing the risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death. For more information, visit https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vaccines/covid-19-vaccine-additional-doses-and-boosters or talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Additional doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are available for people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised who were fully vaccinated with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least 28 days ago. An additional dose provides extra protection for those who may not have had a strong enough immune response after the first 2 doses. A full list of qualifying conditions can be found on the CDC’s website. People should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical conditions and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them, but may self-attest to their medical condition. The additional dose must be the same vaccine type (Pfizer or Moderna) that they previously received.
Booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine are available for individuals in high-risk groups who have been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine for at least 6 months. A booster dose provides extended protection for people whose immune responses may have weakened over time. The CDC recommends a Pfizer booster shot for people ages 65 years and older, people ages 18 years or older who live in long-term care settings, and people ages 50-64 years who have underlying medical conditions. People who are ages 18-49 years who have underlying medical conditions and people ages 18-64 who work or live in settings where they are more likely to get and spread COVID-19 (including first responders, healthcare workers, teachers, and other frontline essential workers) are also eligible to receive a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
To help slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect our communities, public health officials continue to recommend that everyone wear a mask in indoor public spaces in areas of high or substantial levels of transmission as defined by the CDC’s Community Transmission Map.
The CDC’s Community Transmission Map shows 89% of counties nationwide experiencing high levels of community transmission. In North Carolina, 99 of 100 counties, including Transylvania County remain at high transmission levels. However, new cases, hospitalizations, and emergency department visits for COVID-like symptoms continue to decrease statewide. In the western North Carolina region, 179 people are currently hospitalized for COVID-19; 68 of these individuals are in intensive care units.
Testing is recommended for anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 and anyone who has been a close contact to someone with COVID-19 (5-7 days after their last exposure). Some local providers have been experiencing shortages of testing supplies, but testing for COVID-19 is available in Transylvania County at private healthcare providers, CVS, Mercy Urgent Care, Pardee Urgent Care, and Walgreens. At-home test kits are also available for purchase at local stores and for free by request at https://www.pixel.labcorp.com/nc. Additional testing locations in nearby counties can be found at: https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/about-covid-19/testing (Please note that Transylvania Public Health does NOT offer COVID-19 testing for the general public.)
People who are not fully vaccinated should receive a vaccination as soon as possible, wear a face covering in all indoor public settings, wait 6 feet apart in all public settings, wash hands often, not gather with unvaccinated people who live in other households, not travel (or get tested 1-3 days before and 3-5 days after travel and quarantine for 7 days after travel), quarantine and get tested 5-7 days after exposure after close contact to someone with COVID-19, get tested if they have any symptoms of COVID-19, and participate in any routine screening testing offered.
People who are fully vaccinated should wear a mask in indoor public spaces if they live in an area of high or substantial transmission. They should also wear a face covering in all K-12 schools, child care, and other indoor settings with a large number of children or child-focused activities, as will as in public transportation and health care settings and other crowded indoor venues. Fully vaccinated people should get tested if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 3-5 days after an exposure to someone with COVID-19 (they should wear a mask around others until they receive negative test results). CDC guidance recommends that people who are fully vaccinated might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of community transmission, especially if they or someone in their household is immune compromised or at increased risk of severe illness, or if someone in their household is not vaccinated.
Businesses should require employees to report vaccination status and require employees who are not fully vaccinated to wear a face covering indoors, maintain 6 feet of distance from others, and participate in routine screening testing for COVID-19, especially in high-risk settings like long-term care facilities. Businesses in areas of high or substantial transmission should encourage fully vaccinated employees to wear a face covering indoors when within 6 feet of other people and should post signage that all employees and visitors should wear a face covering. Businesses should also remind all employees and visitors to self-monitor and get tested if they have symptoms of COVID-19.
People with questions about COVID-19 symptoms, testing, guidance, or vaccines can call 884-4007 during the health department’s normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm).
(Updated 10/13/21 at 10:30 am) (Demographic data for COVID-19 deaths will be updated weekly, as needed. Last updated 10/13/21 at 10:30 am) For more information about cases in North Carolina, visit the NC DHHS COVID-19 Case Count website. For more information about...read more
Transylvania Public Health is partnering with Transylvania County Schools to offer flu vaccinations at county schools. Only injectable flu shots are being offered this season, and FluMist will not be offered by Transylvania Public Health for 2021-2022. The flu can be...read more
SUMMER AT THE TOWN POOL WITH FRIENDS ON A HOT SUMMER DAY.
A SPECIAL BIRTHDAY LUNCH FOR ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE CO-WORKERS.
MATCHING TATTOOS WITH YOUR COUSINS, JUST LIKE YOU ALWAYS SAID YOU WOULD.
You might not know it, but memories like these are made possible by Transylvania Public Health. We inspect places like public and private pools, restaurants, hotels and even tattoo parlors to help keep them clean and safe for everyone in Transylvania County to use.
We also keep Transylvania County safe by offering immunizations, screening for health concerns, encouraging good nutrition, and more. Good public health is the backbone of a thriving, healthy community. Transylvania Public Health is already doing a lot to keep you healthy. Get to know us – there’s a lot more we can do for you.
LET’S KEEP IT THAT WAY.
PROTECTING OUR COMMUNITY.
Transylvania County is known for its natural beauty, making it a popular tourist destination and more importantly, a place for families to grow and thrive. We’d venture to say that without clean water, a healthy population, and a well-immunized community, this wouldn’t be so.
Transylvania Public Health is committed to keeping our county beautiful and its people healthy. We’re a quiet but steady partner in economic development, an outspoken player in community health and promotion, and a valued member of any health crisis or disaster preparedness team.