COVID-19 VACCINE INFORMATION
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine adds one more layer of protection against the COVID-19 virus. A vaccine is an important step towards getting our families, communities, schools, and workplaces “back to normal”.
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. 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.
Click below to view the COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Recipients and Caregivers for each available vaccine:
– Pfizer (for ages 6 months-4 years) | SPANISH
– Moderna (for ages 6-11 years) | SPANISH
– Moderna (for ages 6 months-5 years) | SPANISH
The CDC has expanded its recommendation for updated COVID-19 boosters to include children. Now everyone ages 5 and up should receive a new bivalent booster to better protect against the most commonly circulating variants. The new bivalent boosters from Pfizer and Moderna combine the original vaccines with ones that target Omicron BA.4 and BA.5. The bivalent COVID-19 boosters can be given as a single dose at least 2 months after receiving a primary or booster COVID-19 vaccination, or at least 3 months after the last COVID-19 infection.
The Pfizer bivalent vaccine is available for adults and children ages 5 years and older, and the Moderna bivalent vaccine is available for adults and children ages 6 or older. The original vaccines can no longer be used as booster doses, but continue to be recommended for primary series vaccines for everyone ages 6 months and older. People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should also receive an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as part of their primary series to increase immune response.
Vaccination is 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.
Transylvania Public Health is offering all COVID-19 vaccines by appointment, including the new bivalent booster doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for ages 12 and older. Booster doses for younger children will be available soon. Other available COVID-19 vaccines include a primary series of Pfizer or Moderna, single doses of J&J, additional doses for immunocompromised individuals, and Pfizer booster doses for ages 5-11. At this time, Transylvania Public Health will not be offering Novavax vaccines. If desired, people can choose to receive a flu vaccine at the same time as their COVID-19 vaccine or booster.
Appointments can be made up to 2 weeks in advance; they are filling quickly at this time, but more appointments are added daily. Appointments for COVID-19, flu (regular or high-dose), or both can be made online using the link below or by calling 828-884-4007. People who have received previous doses of any COVID-19 vaccines should bring their previous vaccination card(s) if available.
Vaccination against COVID-19 is currently recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older, with 2 doses of Pfizer given 3-8 weeks apart (or 3 doses for ages 6 months to 4 years) or 2 doses of Moderna given 4-8 weeks apart for ages 6 months and older. A single dose of J&J is also available for people ages 18 and older in some situations. People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should also receive an additional dose of an mRNA vaccine at least 4 weeks after their last dose as part of this primary series.
The Novavax COIVD-19 vaccine has been authorized by the FDA and recommended by the CDC as an additional option for adults ages 18 and older. Novavax is based on a protein-based vaccine technology that has been used for more than 30 years to prevent diseases such as shingles, hepatitis B, and influenza. It will be given as a 2-dose primary series with the second dose 3-8 weeks after the first. Novavax is not authorized as a third dose or a booster dose at this time. This additional option for COVID-19 vaccination gives people more flexibility to choose a vaccine.
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 choose to 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 10/11/22)
- 22,920 total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been given by Transylvania Public Health, including 11,996 first doses, 7,932 second doses, and 2,991 third doses (additional and booster doses). TPH has given 14,215 doses of Moderna vaccine, 4,594 doses of Pfizer vaccine and 4,111 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine
- 19,913 residents of Transylvania County (58%) have received at least one dose of any COVID-19 vaccine, 19,291 county residents (56%) have received a full primary series (either 2 doses of Pfizer or Modera or 1 dose of J&J), and 13,262 residents (39%) have received a booster or additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
- In North Carolina, 67% of residents have been vaccinated with at least one dose, 63% have received a full primary series, and 60% of vaccinated people have received a third or booster dose; 7% of vaccinated people have received a dose of the new bivalent booster. (This includes data from all providers in North Carolina but does not include people vaccinated in other states.)
- In the U.S., about 80% of the total population have been vaccinated with at least one dose, about 68% have received a full primary series, and 49% 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 78% 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 4 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, with smaller doses for ages 5 to 11 years and 6 months to 4 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.) Bivalent booster dose recommended for ages 12 and older at least 2 months after the second dose; monovalent booster recommended for ages 5-11 years 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. Available under FDA emergency use authorization with smaller doses for ages 12 to 17 years. 6 to 11 years and 6 months to 5 years. 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.) Bivalent booster dose recommended for ages 18 and older at least 2 months after the second dose; monovalent booster recommended for ages 5-17 years 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
- Novavax: Authorized by the FDA and recommended by the CDC as an additional option for adults ages 18 and older. Two-dose primary series given 3-8 weeks apart. Not authorized as a third dose or a booster dose at this time.
- Johnson & Johnson (under its Janssen Pharmaceuticals Company label): Available under FDA emergency use authorization for individuals ages 18 or older in certain situations, but not generally recommended for everyone. 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 mRNA 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 J&J/Janssen vaccine uses a harmless virus called adenovirus to give your body the same type of temporary instructions. Novavax uses a protein-based vaccine technology that has been used for more than 30 years to prevent diseases such as shingles, hepatitis B, and influenza. This additional option for COVID-19 vaccination gives people more flexibility to choose a vaccine. All the vaccines are very effective in preventing hospitalization and death from COVID-19. 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 authorization 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 new bivalent boosters help protect against the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants. These variants, which are now predominant in North Carolina, are much better at evading immunity from vaccines or previous COVID-19 infections. While the original vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna continue to be effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, the new boosters combine the original vaccine with ones that target the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants to offer better protection against COVID-19 infection. 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. The currently circulating Omicron variants are particularly good at evading immunity from previous infections. Vaccination after infection — including booster doses — 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. 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.
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.