New Hanover County vaccine clinics to offer third doses for immunocompromised, indoor mask mandate goes into effect Friday

Posted August 19, 2021 at 3:28 pm     Category: News ReleasePublic Health

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – Beginning Thursday, August 19, New Hanover County Public Health vaccine clinics will offer third doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to immunocompromised individuals, following recent CDC guidance and data showing decreased immune response among those with moderately to severely compromised immune systems.

While plans have been announced by the United States Department of Health and Human Services to begin offering COVID-19 vaccine booster shots this fall, these doses are not currently available to the general public. The CDC advises that the third dose should only be administered to those who have:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood.
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system.
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last two years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system.
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome).
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection.
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response.

Third doses are available to self-attested immunocompromised individuals that received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and are at least 28 days past the date of their second dose. Public Health does not have the Moderna vaccine on hand, but will be able to offer the Pfizer vaccine to those eligible. View dates and locations for Public Health’s vaccine clinics here.

People should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.


Countywide Indoor Mask Mandate

This week, New Hanover County Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a countywide order requiring face coverings be worn in all indoor public places, which goes into effect at 5 p.m. on Friday, August 20. The order takes immediate action to decrease transmission in our community, and is directly in line with a proposed health rule being considered by the Health and Human Services Board to mandate face coverings when in public indoors.

“I welcome the action of the Health and Human Services Board in response to the imminent and present threat posed by COVID-19 in our community, and I have administratively reaffirmed that an order of abatement from our health director is the right course of action to expedite the mask mandate,” said County Manager Chris Coudriet. “We know that this isn’t an easy time for our residents – for those who feel we are moving backward, those worried for the health of their children or their own safety, and worst of all those who have lost loved ones to this terrible virus. The urgency of limiting loss of life to COVID-19 and lessening the impact on our healthcare system has never been more real, and this order addresses it head on. I encourage everyone in our community to join us in this action – wear a mask and get vaccinated as soon as possible to keep us all safe.”

Businesses and workplaces can download official county signage to post in prominent places, to help educate and inform residents and visitors about the new face covering requirement here. And a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the face coverings order can be viewed at

The proposed health rule can be viewed at, and public comments on the rule can be submitted here through Monday, August 30 at noon. The HHS Board will then reconvene for a special meeting, with a date and time to be announced, to review all comments, conduct a public hearing, and vote on the rule’s adoption.


COVID-19 Data in New Hanover County:

  • As of August 19, there have been 21,869 total cases of COVID-19 in New Hanover County since the start of the pandemic, including 652 new cases over the last week.
  • New Hanover County’s 14-day percent positivity rate is 11.1 percent, more than double the acceptable positivity rate according to Public Health. This metric represents positive COVID-19 tests as a percent of total tests performed countywide.
  • Hospital admissions are the highest right now than they have been the entire pandemic. Over 100 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 and the average age of these patients is in their 40s, according to NHRMC. Local hospitalization data is updated weekly by NHRMC here and by NCDHHS statewide and regionally.
  • Of the total number of cases, 20,335 have recovered and 1,348 cases are presumed to still be active.
  • Sadly, 188 people have died from the virus, with three deaths reported in the past week. Those who died were in their 40’s, 50’s and 70’s.
  • In New Hanover County, approximately 135,397 residents (about 58 percent) have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and approximately 125,784 residents (about 54 percent) are fully vaccinated and protected from COVID-19.


NHC Public Health COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics (no appointment needed)

  • A Shot & A Beer: Vaccine Happy Hour at Hi-Wire Brewing (1020 Princess Street)
    • Friday, August 20, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Health and Human Services Health Clinic (1650 Greenfield Street)
    • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • Tuesday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Independence Mall (3500 Oleander Drive)
    • Tuesday and Thursday, from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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