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Posted on: April 24, 2023

New Hanover County following new COVID-19 vaccine guidelines

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – The US Food & Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have authorized changes to the administration of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to ensure continued public protection from severe illness related to the virus. New Hanover County Health and Human Services will be providing vaccines and boosters in alignment with these updated guidelines moving forward, which are outlined below.   

COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

  • The original monovalent mRNA vaccine series from Pfizer and Moderna are no longer authorized for use. Instead, one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna bivalent COVID vaccine will now be an initial primary vaccine for those who are not yet vaccinated.  

COVID-19 Booster Updates

  • One bivalent COVID booster is available to everyone 6 years and older. 
  • A second bivalent COVID booster is now authorized for everyone 65 years and older at least four months after their last bivalent booster shot.  
  • Immunocompromised individuals are now authorized to receive a second bivalent booster at least two months after their previous bivalent booster shot.  

Updates for Children 6 months to 5 years

  • Children ages 6 months to 4 years old that are not vaccinated are now authorized to receive a two-dose series of the Moderna bivalent vaccine or a three-dose series of the Pfizer bivalent vaccine.
  • Children that are 5 years old and not yet vaccinated are authorized to get a two-dose series of Moderna bivalent vaccine or one dose of Pfizer bivalent vaccine.  
  • Children 6 months to 5 years that have finished the original monovalent vaccine series are authorized to receive a single bivalent booster dose depending on which vaccine series they completed.  

The current bivalent vaccines are formulated to fight omicron variants including BA4 and BA5. The FDA plans to meet again in June to discuss future updates to the COVID-19 vaccine formula.  

“We know that COVID is here to stay but it is not what it was when it first appeared,” said New Hanover County Health Director Jon Campbell. “It’s important that we stay flexible and open to changes like these to ensure everyone keeps their protection against severe illness at its highest. These updates have been thoroughly vetted and are recommended by experts and top health officials.” 

Vaccines at HHS 

Initial vaccines and boosters are available on a walk-in basis at the New Hanover County Health and Human Services Clinic (1650 Greenfield Street) from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday with extended hours until 6 p.m. on Tuesday.  

Members of the community are also encouraged to pick up free at-home tests during operating hours at the health clinic.

For more information on COVID-19, vaccines, boosters, or testing, visit or call Health and Human Services at 910-798-3500.  

Low COVID-19 Community Level 

Following its weekly review of county-specific data, the CDC has kept New Hanover County at a low COVID-19 community level. Recommended precautions for this level include being fully vaccinated and boosted, and testing for COVID if you develop symptoms. Mask usage at this community level is optional. The CDC plans to update community levels weekly, so residents can check the CDC website to know the current community impact level. 

COVID-19 Community Data, as of April 24:        

  • New Hanover County’s percent positivity over the past 7 days is 6.1 percent (this represents positive Molecular (PCR) tests as a percent of total PCR tests performed countywide).  
  • Approximately 64.7 percent of New Hanover County residents have completed the initial COVID-19 vaccine series.  
  • Since March 1, 2020, there have been 64,935 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Hanover County, resulting in 473 deaths. 


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