New Hanover County, NC – New Hanover County Health and Human Services’ Public Health will expand COVID-19 vaccine availability to people 12 and older following the formal approval of the CDC’s Advisory committee on Immunization Practices on Wednesday. Public Health continues to offer walk-up COVID-19 vaccine clinics each week, making it convenient for residents to get a free vaccine.
On Monday, May 10, the FDA expanded Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to people 12 and older (the vaccine had already been approved for 16 and older). The decision followed analysis of clinical trial data showing the vaccine was 100 percent effective in more than 2,200 adolescents. On Wednesday, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices met to review all clinical trial data and discuss official recommendations for this younger age group, which were approved and released Wednesday evening. So beginning Thursday, May 13, people 12 and older can receive the Pfizer vaccine through New Hanover County Public Health.
“This updated authorization is extremely promising in that we can expand immunity to children as young as 12 and further protect our community from COVID-19,” said New Hanover County Health and Human Services Director Donna Fayko. “COVID-19 continues to spread in New Hanover County, and currently children and teens account for 20 percent of cases statewide. So we continue to urge our community to take advantage of the convenient ways to get vaccinated and put an end to this pandemic.”
North Carolina law allows adolescents with decisional capacity to consent to medical services for the treatment and prevention of communicable diseases. Because COVID-19 is a communicable disease, young people may get the vaccine at a Public Health vaccination site without a parent or guardian present.
“We, in no way, think a child should seek out a vaccine without thoughtful discussion and information gathering with the supportive adults in their life, but this provision does make it easier for young people to ride with a friend or other family member to a vaccination site if work or other commitments make it difficult to accompany your child,” said New Hanover County Health Director David Howard. “This allowance is in place for the benefit of both individual minors in need of and desiring services, and to benefit the community to reduce the spread of all communicable diseases.”
Upcoming COVID-19 vaccine walk-in clinics will be held on the following days, and all sites will offer both the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccine to choose from:
Thursday, May, 13
Friday, May 14
Monday, May 17
Wednesday, May 19
At Public Health’s walk-in clinics, people can choose which vaccine (either Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson) they would like when they arrive; Pfizer is a two-dose vaccine approved for anyone 12 and older, and Johnson & Johnson is a one-dose vaccine approved for anyone 18 and older.
Since December 22, 2020, New Hanover County Public Health has administered nearly 56,000 COVID-19 vaccines, and through efforts of Public Health and community healthcare partners, 108,644 residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. To date, 46.3 percent of New Hanover County residents are partially vaccinated against COVID-19, and 42.3 percent are fully vaccinated.
Visit Health.NHCgov.com to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines and where you can find one easily in our community.
New Hanover County COVID-19 Cases
Since May 5, 198 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in New Hanover County for a total of 19,363 cases since the start of the pandemic. Of that total, 18,089 people have recovered, and 168 people have died from the virus. The two residents who died this week were in their 40’s and 70’s, and at risk of severe illness because of underlying health conditions.
Directions to vaccination site at Independence Mall: enter the main mall entrance facing Independence Blvd. and head toward the Belk wing; the vaccine site is located between Rack Room Shoes and Bath & Body Works. Click here for video instructions.
To view the most recent COVID-19 case count data, vaccine information, and resources in New Hanover County, visit Health.NHCgov.com/Coronavirus, call our Coronavirus Call Center at 910-798-6800, and follow the county’s trusted social media pages: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Nextdoor.