Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots available in Meck County for high-risk groups

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — Starting Monday, Mecklenburg County Public Health is offering Pfizer COVID-19 third dose booster shots to high-risk groups as well as frontline workers such as teachers, grocery store workers and healthcare workers.

The county announced it would offer the shots after the booster recommendation from the FDA’s scientific advisory committee and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

The third dose boosters are available for the groups below:

  • People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their last dose of Pfizer-BioNTech.
  • People aged 50 to 64 with certain underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their last dose of Pfizer-BioNTech.
  • People 18 to 49 who are at high risk for severe COVID-19 due to certain underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their last dose of Pfizer-BioNTech, based on their individual benefits and risks.
  • People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their last dose of Pfizer-BioNTech, based on their individual benefits and risks.

The above groups can get a booster shot at the Southeast Health Department at 249 Billingsley Road and the Northwest Health Department at 2845 Beatties Ford Road. Both are in Charlotte.

Residents are asked to bring their vaccine card. No appointment is necessary and there will be no requirement/ confirmation of eligibility.

Novant Health also announced that it will start administering COVID-19 booster shots on Monday. Here are locations that will accept eligible individuals by appointment only:

  • Novant Health Medical Group – Hanes (196 Hanes Mall Circle, Winston-Salem, NC 27103) is open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Novant Health Medical Group – East Mecklenburg (6070 East Independence Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28212) is open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Novant Health Medical Group – Huntersville (17220 Northcross Drive, Suite 110, Huntersville, NC 28078) is open Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Novant Health Medical Group – Salisbury (J.F. Hurley YMCA 828 Jake Alexander Blvd. W Salisbury, NC 28147) is open Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Select Novant Health primary care clinics
  • Retail pharmacies and others also will offer booster doses

StarMed is offering the booster shots as well. Channel 9 went to their location on Tuckaseegee Road Monday morning where workers expected long lines for those eligible to get the shot.

The number of cases, hospitalizations and percent of positive tests have all dropped in Mecklenburg County. The percent positive is at 10% -- down from 15% two weeks ago.

“We are happy to report we have seen a very slow decrease in the patients who have been hospitalized at Duke Health,” said Dr. Lisa Pickett, chief medical officer at Duke University Hospital.

Pickett said seeing lower numbers of new COVID-19 infections is a positive sign, however, getting booster shots will play a key role moving forward.

“We worry about our most vulnerable community members, those who are underlying illness,” Pickett said. “They don’t get the very best response from the first and second dose of the vaccine, so giving them every opportunity to have those good antibodies that they are, in the best interest.”

Alan Winninger, 56, said he didn’t waste any time to roll up his sleeve and get his booster shot on Monday at the county health department. He said he’s a Type 2 diabetic and also dealing with several heart issues. He said he didn’t just get the Pfizer COVID-19 booster for himself, he did it for his son also.

“People don’t understand the seriousness of how this impacts so many other people,” Winninger said. “I am protecting more importantly my son who is autistic and any point if I would die, my son would have been orphaned, put into a foster home. That is a panic I have had to live with since this all started.”

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine and booster availability in Mecklenburg County, click here, or call the Public Health COVID-19 hotline at 980-314-9400.

(WATCH: Local reaction to FDA endorsement of Pfizer booster shots)