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Gov. Cooper gives COVID-19 update as NC says 71% of adults at least partially vaccinated

North Carolina health officials announced that 71% of adults have gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as an FDA panel backed shots for young kids.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As the administration of additional booster shots begins, North Carolina state health officials said 71% of adults have taken at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. 

“We are grateful to see this latest surge in COVID-19 taper off,” North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said. “And as we try to drive down our numbers, we know what works. Vaccines. The more people who get their shots, the less COVID we’ll have.”

North Carolina reported 2,160 new cases Wednesday with just over 1,400 hospitalizations statewide, which is down 63% from a recent peak in early September. Overall, the state says transmission remains high but more counties are dropping out of the "high" zone and into substantial. 

COVID-19 vaccinations by age in North Carolina

North Carolina has administered over 11.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. 66% of the adult population is fully vaccinated, according to state data. 71% of adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine, including 92% of North Carolinians 65 and over.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services gave a breakdown of who has been vaccinated by age group Tuesday. Here's how those numbers look: 

  • 12-17: 45%
  • 18-24: 50%
  • 25-49: 59%
  • 50-64: 72%
  • 65-74: 86%
  • 75+: 91%
  • Total: 59%

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Soon, a vaccine for younger kids

On Tuesday, an FDA advisory board voted in favor of approving Pfizer's vaccine for kids aged 5 to 11, which could be a key factor in ending the pandemic. The vaccine is currently only available for kids at least 12 years old. This week, the FDA will vote on that recommendation, and if approved, the CDC will get the final say on who gets the vaccine and when.

Booster shots now available

COVID-19 vaccine booster shots are now available for more North Carolinians. 

The Food and Drug Administration has authorized, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommend Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 booster shots to help strengthen and extend protections against COVID-19 infections. A Pfizer booster shots have been available since Sept. 24.

RELATED: VERIFY: Are the current COVID-19 boosters the same formulation as the original shots?

The Pfizer and Moderna shots are approved for older people, those with underlying health conditions, and people who are at risk of getting exposed to the virus on the job.

But the CDC said all 15 million Americans who got the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot should go get a booster, data shows it doesn’t give the same level of protection as the two-dose mRNA vaccines.

“When you get two doses of the mRNA vaccine and you’re under the age of 65 in particular, you’re very well protected still -- even with delta -- from hospitalization and death,” Dr. David Priest with Novant Health said.

Impacts of not being vaccinated

Novant Health, one of the largest health care providers in the Charlotte area, announced Tuesday that every single COVID-19 patient on a ventilator in its system was not vaccinated. Of the people who are hospitalized, Novant said the majority are older or have underlying health conditions. Those are the people currently due for a booster shot. 

Johns Hopkins University said 11,142 people died due to COVID-19 across the U.S. for the week ending Sept. 5. That number climbed to 14,491 three weeks later. For the week ending Sunday, it was back down to 11,213 -- higher than the Sept. 5 number.

More information about COVID-19 vaccine boosters and additional doses is available on NCDHHS’s website. For more information about COVID-19 vaccines in North Carolina or to find a vaccine location, visit MySpot.nc.gov or call the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Help Center for free at 888-675-4567.

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