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.
Vaccination against COVID-19 is currently recommended for everyone ages 5 and older and booster doses are recommended for everyone ages 18 and older who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least 2 months ago, everyone ages 12 or older who received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine at least 5 months ago, or both doses of the Moderna vaccine at least 5 months ago. Individuals may choose any available brand for their booster dose, but evidence suggests that the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines may provide the best protection for most people.
Repeat infections among people who have already had COVID-19 and breakthrough infections among those who have been vaccinated are more likely to occur with the Omicron variant. However, early evidence shows that vaccine boosters provide a significant level of protection against Omicron, and vaccination remains the most effective way to protect against serious illness, hospitalization, and death.
Transylvania Public Health is offering all COVID-19 vaccines BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Appointments can be made online using the link below or by calling 828-884-4007. All COVID-19 vaccinations are available, including single doses of Johnson & Johnson for ages 18 and older, first and second doses of Pfizer for ages 5 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 ages 12 and older. For second, additional, or booster doses, people should bring the vaccination card(s) given when they received previous dose(s).
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; contact each vaccine provider for more information about which vaccines they are currently offering.
Transylvania Public Health may also be able to provide on-site vaccinations by request for groups at worksites, churches, community centers, and neighborhoods. To request a vaccination event, click here or call 884-4007.
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 1/19/22)
- 22,025 total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been given by Transylvania Public Health, including 11,921 first doses, 7,869 second doses, and 2,234 third doses (additional and booster doses). TPH has given 13,670 doses of Moderna vaccine, 4,287 doses of Pfizer vaccine and 4,068 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine
- 19,397 residents of Transylvania County (56%) have received at least one dose of any COVID-19 vaccine, 18,657 county residents (54%) have received a full primary series (either 2 doses of Pfizer or Modera or 1 dose of J&J), and 10,797 residents have received a booster or additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine. In North Carolina, 64% of residents have been vaccinated with at least one dose, 61% have received a full primary series, and 45% 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 75% of the total population have been vaccinated with at least one dose, about 63% have received a full primary series, and 39% of vaccinated people have received a third or booster dose.
- Among Transylvania County residents, 59% of those ages 5 or older, 61% of those ages 12 or older, 63% of those ages 18 or older, and 75% 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. 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 and a smaller dose for ages 5 to 11 years.
- Pfizer-BioNtech: A two-dose vaccine for ages 12 and up. A two-dose vaccine with 1/3 the dose size for ages 5-11. Second dose should be given 21 days after the first dose. Additional dose recommended for people with moderate to severely compromised immune systems 28 days after the second dose. Booster dose available for ages 18 and up at least 6 months after the second dose. Click here for more information about the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine from the CDC
- Moderna: A two-dose vaccine for ages 18 and up. Second dose should be given 28 days after the first dose. Additional dose recommended for people with moderate to severely compromised immune systems 28 days after the second dose. Booster dose available at least 6 months after the second dose. Click here for more information about the Moderna vaccine from the CDC
- Johnson & Johnson (under its Janssen Pharmaceuticals Company label): A single-dose vaccine for ages 18 and up. Booster dose available at least 2 months after the single dose. Click here for more information about the J&J Janssen vaccine from the CDC
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
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 and with a smaller dose for ages 5 to 11. Additional and booster doses have been recommended for specific populations, but our first priority remains ensuring that unvaccinated people receive an initial vaccine. 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.
FIRST AND SECOND DOSE ELIGIBILITY
COVID-19 vaccines are now available for everyone 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.
Everyone ages 5 and up is currently eligible to receive a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Everyone ages 18 and up is eligible to receive a Moderna or Janssen (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine.
A booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine provides extended protection for people whose immune responses may have weakened over time. Eligibility for booster doses now includes recommendations for people who initially received any of the three COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose; some people may prefer to receive the same vaccine type that they originally received and others may prefer to get a booster from a different manufacturer.
- Individuals in high-risk groups who have been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines for at least 6 months are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster. High-risk groups include:
- People ages 65 years and older
- People who live in long-term care settings and are 18 years or older
- People who have underlying medical conditions and are 18 years or older, and
- People 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) and are 18 years or older.
- Individuals who have been vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for at least 2 months and are 18 years or older are also eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster.
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.
- People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised and who were fully vaccinated with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least 28 days ago are eligible to receive an additional dose from the same vaccine manufacturer. 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.
COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are widely available from health departments, hospitals, health care providers, and pharmacies, as well as at vaccination events. Children ages 5 to 11 are eligible to receive a Pfizer vaccine that is a different size dose than the Pfizer vaccines for teens and adults. Not every vaccine provider will have vaccines for children. Visit covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vaccines to find a COVID-19 vaccine provider in North Carolina.
When vaccines were first authorized for use, supplies were limited and states needed to make vaccine available in phases. Experts recommended first protecting health care workers caring for patients with COVID-19, people who are at the highest risk of being hospitalized or dying, and those at high risk of exposure to COVID-19.
NCDHHS released guidance for vaccine distribution to align with federal priorities while empowering local health departments and hospitals with flexibility to move to the next priority group as they complete phases and have vaccines available. NCDHHS is asking local vaccine providers to give as many vaccines as quickly as possible and to also demonstrate outreach to underserved communities.
GROUP 1 (formerly Phase 1a): Transylvania Public Health continues to offer vaccines to people eligible to receive the vaccine in Group 1, which includes all healthcare workers with direct patient contact and long-term care residents and staff, including skilled nursing facilities, adult care homes and continuing care retirement communities. This group includes people who are home caregivers providing regular medical care to medically fragile children and adults. Guidance has also been updated to include people receiving long-term home care for more than 30 days including home and community based services for persons with intellectual and developmental disability, private duty nursing, personal care services, and home health and hospice. Click here to learn more about Group 1 from NCDHHS.
GROUP 2 (formerly Phase 1b Group 1 and Phase 2 Group 1): Transylvania Public Health continues to offer vaccines for people 65 years or older, regardless of health status or living condition. Click here to learn more about Group 2 from NCDHHS.
GROUP 3 (formerly Phase 1b Groups 2 and 3): Transylvania Public Health continues to offer vaccines to frontline essential workers. Frontline essential workers include people of any age who must work in person and are employed in one of the following 8 sectors:
- Critical manufacturing (including workers who manufacture medical supplies and equipment, PPE, and products in the food and agricultural supply chain)
- Education (including preK-12 teachers and support staff, childcare workers, and higher education instructors and support staff) Click here to learn more about eligibility for Group 3 education and childcare workers from NCDHHS.
- Essential goods (including workers in stores that sell groceries and medicine)
- Food and agriculture (including meat packing, food processing, farms, food distribution and supply chains, and restaurant workers)
- Government and community services (including U.S. Postal Service and shipping workers, court workers, elected officials, clergy, homeless shelter staff, and veterinarians)
- Healthcare and public health (including public health staff and social workers)
- Public safety (including firefighters and EMS, law enforcement, corrections workers, security officers, and workers responding to abuse and neglect)
- Transportation (including public transit workers, DMV workers, transportation maintenance and repair technicians, and workers supporting highway infrastructure)
GROUP 4 (formerly Phase 2 Groups 2-4): Transylvania Public Health continues to offer vaccines to people with high-risk medical conditions or living in close group settings. This group includes anyone 16-65 years old who has a health condition that increases the risk of severe illness from COVID-19, including:
- asthma (moderate to severe)
- cerebrovascular disease or history of stroke
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- cystic fibrosis
- diabetes type 1 or type 2
- heart condition (such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy)
- hypertension or high blood pressure
- immunocompromised state (weakened immune system from: immune deficiencies, HIV, taking chronic steroids or other immune weakening medicines, history of solid organ blood or bone marrow transplant)
- intellectual and developmental disabilities including down syndrome
- liver disease including hepatitis
- neurologic conditions such as dementia and schizophrenia
- pulmonary fibrosis
- overweight or obesity
- sickle cell disease (not including sickle cell trait) or thalassemia
- smoking (current or former, defined as having smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime)
This group also includes anyone who is living in congregate or close group living settings, such as people who are homeless or living in a homeless shelter and people who are incarcerated. Click here to learn more about Group 4 people with high-risk medical conditions from NCDHHS.
GROUP 4: Transylvania Public Health continues to offer vaccines to other essential workers. This group includes people working in the following sectors:
- chemical industries (including workers in petrochemical plants, agricultural chemicals, pharmaceutical facilities, consumer products)
- commercial facilities (including retail workers and hotel workers)
- communications and information technology (including news reporters and staff, service repair dispatchers, data center operators)
- defense industrial base (including workers supporting essential services to meet national security commitments)
- energy (including electric, petroleum, natural and propane gas workers)
- financial services (including workers who maintain systems for processing financial transactions, workers needed to provide consumer access to banking and lending services)
- hazardous materials (including nuclear facilities workers, workers managing medical waste), hygiene products and services (including laundromats, sanitation workers)
- public works and infrastructure support services (including plumbers, electricians, exterminators, workers supporting parks)
- residential facilities, housing and real estate
- water and wastewater (including staff at water authorities, wastewater treatment facilities, water sampling and monitoring)
This group also includes students living in dormitories or other group living settings. Click here to learn more about eligibility in Group 4 essential workers from NCDHHS.
GROUP 5 (formerly Phase 4): Transylvania Public Health continues to offer vaccines to everyone who wants a one.
Based on CDC recommendations, NCDHHS allows providers to not offer vaccine to temporary travelers who do not reside, work, or spend significant time in North Carolina, including people coming into the state for the main purpose of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. People who spend significant time in North Carolina and are able to spread the virus in North Carolina should be vaccinated when and where they have access to vaccine. This includes people who have a residence and/or live in North Carolina, work in North Carolina, or receive ongoing health care in North Carolina. Providers should continue to not put restrictions on administering vaccinations based on North Carolina county of residence. Vaccine providers should have a process for people to declare their vaccine eligibility and significant time spent in North Carolina, but should not require individuals to present identification or proof of residency to be vaccinated or to schedule an appointment for vaccination.
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.