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State health leaders encouraged by COVID-19 trends, push for North Carolinians to get vaccinated

Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 11:01 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 27, 2021 at 2:56 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - While state health leaders are encouraged by the recent trends of COVID-19 in North Carolina, they are still pushing for residents to get vaccinated.

“We’re relieved to see fewer people requiring hospital care and ICU beds for COVID-19. Our percentage of tests positive continues to decline and the number of people vaccinated increases every day, even though we want it to go faster,” Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday. “There are still challenges. There is significant burnout among health care workers which is causing a strain.

“The best way to help them is to get vaccinated, as the vast majority of their sickest COVID patients continue to be unvaccinated people.”

The CDC recommends boosters for everyone who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than two months ago. Boosters also are recommended for people who received the Moderna or Pfizer shot more than six months ago if you are 65 or older, if you are 18 or older and have a medical condition that puts you at higher risk or if you live or work in a setting that puts you at higher risk for exposure to COVID-19. More information on who is eligible can be found here.

More than 11.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in North Carolina, with 66 percent of the adult population fully vaccinated.

“I am encouraged to see that every day more people are making the decision to get vaccinated,” said Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. “Getting vaccinated is a powerful action you can take to protect your health, to protect your loved ones, and to help end this pandemic at last.”

Cohen and Cooper stated Wednesday that vaccines may be available for younger children as early as the end of next week.

“Yesterday, the independent advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration recommended the use of Pfizer’s vaccine in children 5 to 11 years,” the governor’s office stated in an news release. “Once the CDC completes its review process, there will be ample vaccine supply across the state. More than 750 locations are preparing to provide vaccines to this age group, including doctors’ offices, pharmacies, local health departments, community vaccination events and family vaccination sites.”

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