COVID-19 VACCINE INFORMATION
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine adds one more layer of protection in our community’s efforts to slow the spread of this virus. A vaccine is an important step towards getting our families, communities, schools, and workplaces “back to normal” sooner.
We understand that some folks may have concerns about safety and effectiveness. Others may be anxious to know how quickly they will be able to receive a vaccine. Transylvania Public Health is working to provide accurate, fact-based information about the vaccine as quickly as we can to help you make the decisions that are right for you and your family.
See below for information about the vaccine itself and how it is being distributed in North Carolina. If you have further questions or concerns, please call our nurse line at 828-884-4007. For more information, visit the CDC COVID-19 Vaccines page or the NCDHHS COVID-19 Vaccine Information page.
The CDC now recommends that children ages 5 to 11 years who are not immunocompromised should receive a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine 5 months after their initial vaccination series. (Children ages 5 to 11 years who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should receive a booster 3 months after completing their most recent dose.) The FDA amended the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to allow a single booster dose for children ages 5 to 11 years earlier this week. Providers can begin offering a booster dose to children once they have updated physician orders.
Transylvania Public Health is offering all COVID-19 vaccines BY APPOINTMENT ONLY, including second boosters for eligible individuals. Appointments can be made online using the link below or by calling 828-884-4007. Available vaccinations include a primary series of Pfizer or Moderna, single doses of J&J, additional doses for immunocompromised individuals, and first and second booster doses. Booster doses for children ages 5-11 are not yet available. People who have received previous doses of the COVID-19 vaccines should bring their previous vaccination card(s) if available. People who have received previous doses of the COVID-19 vaccines should bring their previous vaccination card(s) if available.
The CDC continues to recommend that all eligible adults, adolescents, and children ages 5 and older be up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters when eligible. Data show that an initial booster dose is important in helping to protect against severe illness from COVID-19 for all adults. Vaccination remains the best protection against severe illness and death from COVID-19. People who have been vaccinated are also less likely to get COVID-19 and less likely to develop symptoms, especially if they have received a booster dose.
Vaccination against COVID-19 is currently recommended for everyone ages 5 and older, with 2 doses of Pfizer given 21 days apart (available to ages 5 and older), 2 doses of Moderna given 28 days apart (available to ages 18 and older), or a single dose of J&J (available to ages 18 and older). The mRNA vaccines are preferred for most people, but the J&J vaccine may be considered in some situations. People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should also receive an additional dose of an mRNA vaccine at least 28 days after their last dose as part of this primary series.
An initial booster dose is recommended for everyone ages 5 and older, at least 5 months after completing the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna doses or 2 months after receiving a single dose of J&J. People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should receive a booster dose at least 3 months after their last dose of Pfizer or Moderna or at least 2 months after their last dose of J&J vaccine. For initial booster doses, the mRNA vaccines are preferred, but the J&J vaccine may be considered.
A second booster dose is now recommended for some groups, based on data that show some waning of protection over time in older and immunocompromised individuals as well as an increase in the level of protection among higher-risk individuals after a second booster dose of the mRNA vaccines. Adults ages 50 or older and certain immunocompromised individuals who received an initial booster dose at least 4 months ago should receive a second booster dose of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. In addition, people who received a primary dose of the J&J vaccine and a booster dose of the J&J vaccine at least 4 months ago may receive a second booster dose of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
More information about COVID-19 vaccines from the CDC:
- Vaccines for COVID-19
- COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens
- COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots
- COVID-19 Vaccines for Moderately or Severely Immunocompromised People
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).
Transylvania County Vaccination Numbers
(as of 5/18/22)
- 22,457 total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been given by Transylvania Public Health, including 11,959 first doses, 7,909 second doses, and 2,589 third doses (additional and booster doses). TPH has given 13,894 doses of Moderna vaccine, 4,465 doses of Pfizer vaccine and 4,098 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine
- 19,753 residents of Transylvania County (57%) have received at least one dose of any COVID-19 vaccine, 19,115 county residents (56%) have received a full primary series (either 2 doses of Pfizer or Modera or 1 dose of J&J), and 12,499 residents (36%) have received a booster or additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
- In North Carolina, 66% of residents have been vaccinated with at least one dose, 62% have received a full primary series, and 55% of vaccinated people have received a third or booster dose. (This includes data from all providers in North Carolina but does not include people vaccinated in other states.)
- In the U.S., about 78% of the total population have been vaccinated with at least one dose, about 67% have received a full primary series, and 46% of vaccinated people have received a third or booster dose.
- Among Transylvania County residents, 60% of those ages 5 or older, 62% of those ages 12 or older, 64% of those ages 18 or older, and 77% of those ages 65 or older have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Additional vaccination data is available on the NCDHHS Dashboard, which is updated each weekday.
ABOUT THE COVID-19 VACCINES
A total of 3 COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for use in the United States to provide protection against COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and death, with no serious safety concerns in clinical trials.
- Pfizer-BioNtech: Received full FDA approval under the brand name “Cominarty” for individuals ages 16 or older. Available under FDA emergency use authorization for ages 12 to 15 years. Smaller dose available under FDA emergency use authorization for ages 5 to 11 years. Two-dose primary series given 3-8 weeks apart. (For people ages 12 and older with moderate to severely compromised immune systems: additional dose in the primary series should be given at least 4 weeks after the second dose.) Booster dose recommended for ages 12 and older at least 5 months after the second dose (or 3 months after the second dose for those who are immunocompromised). Second booster available for ages 50 and older, people who are immunocompromised, and those who originally received a single dose and a booster of J&J, at least 4 months after the last dose. Click here for more information about the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine from the CDC.
- Moderna: Received full FDA approval under the brand name “Spikevax” for individuals ages 18 or older. Two-dose primary series given 4-8 weeks apart. (For people ages 18 and older with moderate to severely compromised immune systems: additional dose in the primary series should be given at least 4 weeks after the second dose.) Booster dose recommended at least 5 months after the second dose (or 3 months after the second dose for those who are immunocompromised). Second booster available for ages 50 and older, people who are immunocompromised, and those who originally received a single dose and a booster of J&J, at least 4 months after the last dose. Click here for more information about the Moderna vaccine from the CDC
- Johnson & Johnson (under its Janssen Pharmaceuticals Company label): Available under FDA emergency use authorization for individuals ages 18 or older. Single-dose vaccine. Booster dose available at least 2 months after the single dose. (Note that booster doses with an mRNA vaccine are recommended for those who received a single dose of J&J. A second booster dose of an mRNA vaccine is recommended for those who received a single and booster dose of J&J.) Click here for more information about the J&J Janssen vaccine from the CDC
While all currently approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, the CDC recommends that people who are starting their vaccine series or getting a booster dose receive vaccines from Pfizer or Moderna. These mRNA vaccines are preferred over the J&J vaccine in most circumstances.
The CDC does not recommend mixing products for a two-dose primary series or an additional primary dose.
For a booster dose, adults ages 18 years and older may choose which vaccine product they get. The mRNA vaccines are preferred in most circumstances, but the J&J COVID-19 vaccine may be considered in some situations.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What’s the difference between the vaccines? The two-dose vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) use mRNA to give your body temporary instructions to make a protein that teaches your body to make antibodies (germ-fighting cells) against the COVID-19 virus. The one-dose vaccine (J&J/Janssen) uses a harmless virus called adenovirus to give your body the same type of temporary instructions. All the vaccines are very effective in preventing someone from getting COVID-19 and preventing hospitalization and death. More information.
Tested, safe, and effective. The COVID-19 vaccines had to pass three phases of clinical trials like other drugs and vaccines before receiving approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This includes testing the vaccines in volunteers to see if they are safe and if they work to prevent COVID-19 illness. More information.
Scientists had a head start. The COVID-19 vaccines were developed quickly because they are built on decades of research on vaccines for similar viruses. A big investment of resources and focus made sure they were created without skipping any steps in development, testing, or clinical trials. More information.
The vaccine protects against the Delta variant. The Delta variant, which is now predominant in North Carolina, is much more contagious than the original virus. Vaccines continue to be remarkably effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even against the Delta variant. More information.
No serious side effects were reported in clinical trials. Temporary reactions after receiving the vaccine may include a sore arm, headache, feeling tired and achy for a day or two or, in some cases, fever. In most cases, these reactions are good signs that your body is building protection. Like all drugs, vaccines continue to be closely monitored after they are approved for use and healthcare providers are required to report serious side effects. The CDC and FDA have been monitoring rare cases of allergic reactions, blood clots, myocarditis, and Guillain-Barre Syndrome among people who were vaccinated, but have determined the extremely low risk of one of these severe adverse events after COVID-19 vaccination is still lower than the risk of severe illness from COVID-19 infection among people who remain unvaccinated. More information.
You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine. None of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19, so the vaccines cannot make you sick with COVID-19 or cause you to “shed” the virus. COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are signs that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. More information.
The vaccine does not affect fertility. There is no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems (problems trying to get pregnant) in women or men. COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for everyone 12 years of age or older, including people who are trying to get pregnant now or might become pregnant in the future, as well as their partners. Vaccination for those who are pregnant or wanting to become pregnant is recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM), the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), and the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology. The CDC issued an urgent health advisory on September 29, 2021, urging vaccination for people who are pregnant, recently pregnant (including those who are lactating), who are trying to become pregnant now, or who might be pregnant in the future. More information.
People who have had COVID-19 still need to be vaccinated. People who have recovered from a past COVID-19 infection do have some protection against getting COVID-19 again but we don’t know how long that protection lasts or if your body responded well enough to create natural immunity. Vaccination after infection can provide stronger protection against future infections and may better protect you against certain variants of the COVID-19 virus. However, if you currently have COVID-19, you should wait to get a vaccine until you are no longer infectious to others (to protect those giving the vaccine) and your symptoms have completely resolved. People who were treated for COVID-19 symptoms with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma or who had multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-A or MIS-C) should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine. More information.
A hundred million people in the U.S. have already received their COVID-19 vaccine. More information.
Vaccines are available from many providers. COVID-19 vaccines were first available in hospitals, local health departments, and long-term care facilities, and then in a variety of settings like clinics, pharmacies, and vaccination events in prioritized settings and in the community. Resources are available if you need to be vaccinated at home, or if you need a ride to a vaccination provider. COVID-19 vaccines are free to everyone, whether or not you have health insurance. No government ID is required and everyone can be vaccinated, regardless of immigration status. Some providers may ask for information to verify who you are, where you live, or what health insurance you have, but providers should not withhold vaccinations because you cannot present identification. Find out where you can get a COVID-19 vaccine at https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vaccines.
VACCINE AVAILABILITY AND ELIGIBILITY
FIRST AND SECOND DOSE ELIGIBILITY
COVID-19 vaccines are available for people ages 5 and up. The vaccine is free everywhere in North Carolina. No government ID or insurance is required. Everyone can be vaccinated, regardless of their immigration status. Getting vaccinated will not affect your immigration status.
- Adults ages 18 and older are eligible to receive a Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J vaccine.
- Adolescents ages 12 to 17 years are eligible to receive a Pfizer vaccine.
- Children ages 5-11 years are eligible to receive a pediatric Pfizer vaccine.
ADDITIONAL DOSE ELIGIBILITY
An additional dose of a COVID-19 vaccine provides extra protection for those who may not have had a strong enough immune response after the first 2 doses. This includes people who have a weakened immune system and may be at higher risk of severe illness. Only mRNA vaccines can be given as an additional dose, and people should receive an additional dose from the same manufacturer as their first two doses. The following groups are eligible for an additional dose:
- Immunocompromised individuals ages 5 and older who received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, at least 28 days after their second dose
- Immunocompromised individuals ages 18 and older who received two doses of the Moderna vaccine, at least 28 days after their second dose
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.
A booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine provides extended protection for people whose immune responses may have weakened over time. The mRNA vaccines are preferred as booster doses, but the J&J vaccine may be considered in some situations. The following groups are eligible for a booster dose:
- Everyone ages 12 or older who received a Pfizer vaccine series, at least 5 months after their second dose
- Everyone ages 18 or older who received a Moderna vaccine series, at least 5 months after their second dose
- Everyone ages 18 or older who received a J&J vaccine, at least 2 months after their single dose
- Immunocompromised people ages 12 or older who received a Pfizer vaccine, at least 3 months after their last dose
- Immunocompromised people ages 18 or older who received a Moderna vaccine, at least 3 months after their last dose
A SECOND booster dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine further extends vaccine protection among those who may need it most. Only Pfizer and Moderna vaccines may be given as second booster doses. The following groups are eligible for a second booster dose:
- All adults who received a primary dose of J&J vaccine and a booster dose of J&J vaccine, at least 4 months after their initial booster dose
- All adults ages 50 years and older, at least 4 months after their initial booster dose
- Immunocompromised individuals ages 12-17 (Pfizer only) or ages 18 and older (Pfizer or Moderna), at least 4 months after their initial booster dose
COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are widely available from health departments, hospitals, health care providers, and pharmacies, as well as at vaccination events. Visit covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vaccines to find a COVID-19 vaccine provider in North Carolina.
Children ages 5 to 11 will receive a Pfizer vaccine that is a different size dose than the Pfizer vaccines for teens and adults. Some providers may not offer vaccines for children.
Second booster doses have recently been authorized by the FDA and approved by the CDC and local vaccine providers must update their medical orders to comply with the new authorization before they begin offering these doses. Some providers may already be giving second boosters, while others may not be ready to give second boosters until early April.
VACCINATION ACCESS IN TRANSYLVANIA COUNTY
Please do not make an appointment to receive a vaccine (or call and cancel if you have already made an appointment) if you are currently in isolation due to a positive test for COVID-19 or are in quarantine due to a close contact to someone with COVID-19.
People can receive the COVID-19 vaccine from any approved COVID-19 vaccine provider in any county. You can seek second doses, additional doses, and booster doses from any provider (not just the provider who gave your first dose).
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 for eligible individuals including anyone who received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least 2 months ago and individuals who received both doses of Pfizer or Moderna at least 6 months ago and are at high risk for serious illness or exposure to the virus. 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, additional, or booster 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. Other vaccine providers are available in nearby counties and at regional vaccine distribution sites.
You may make an appointment for yourself or on behalf of other people. Be sure to enter all information correctly.
To make an appointment, please have the following information ready:
- Race and ethnicity
If you enter a valid email address, you will receive an email from nccvms.dhhs.nc.gov asking you to register for an account on the NCDHHS CVMS Recipient Portal. Please complete this registration before your appointment if you are able. You can sign in and make an account using this site if you want to see your vaccination record.
SECOND-DOSE VACCINE APPOINTMENTS
If you have received your first dose of vaccine from Transylvania Public Health, we will schedule your second dose appointment for the same location and time of day as the first dose, 28 days later for Moderna and 21 days later for Pfizer. You do not need to make an appointment for your second dose online or by phone. You should receive an email confirmation and reminders about your second-dose appointment.
Although it is ideal to get your second dose as originally scheduled, it is acceptable to receive the second dose up to 42 days after your first dose. (In general, you should not expect to have a new second dose appointment scheduled until after the date of your original second dose appointment. We may not be able to schedule your new second dose appointment until a few days before or on the same day of the next clinic, depending on cancellations for that date.)
Please bring your vaccination card so we can update it with your second dose. (If you are unable to bring your vaccination card from your first dose, we can provide a new card with the second dose). You do not need to bring anything else.