RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- It's another critical stage in the pandemic -- a concerning trend of breakthrough COVID-19 infections among fully-vaccinated people. Booster shots are being pushed as a solution.
"If you're over 65, you are eligible for a booster," State Health Director Dr. Betsey Tilson said while taking the public's questions on boosters at Monday's virtual fireside chat.
In addition to people over 65, Tilson ran down the list of other people eligible for boosters right now: People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility; people with underlying conditions; and workers in high-risk professions.
"Health care workers, first responders, teachers and school staff; people who work in food processing; retail and restaurant workers; public transit workers; people who are out around a lot of people," Tilson said in describing high-risk scenarios.
UNC Health pediatric doctor Kenya McNeal-Trice helped field the questions. At one point asking a viewer question, "Do you need to have your vaccination record with you to get the booster?"
Tilson answered, "This will be a self-attestation -- so people don't have to bring proof of their eligibility. They can attest to the fact that they're eligible. But boosters are for people who've had their second does for six months or more."
A phone call question asked, "Where can we go to get the third shot? The health department? The drug store?"
"We have lots of vaccine supply and lots of providers who have the vaccine," Tilson said before pointing the NCDHHS website for a full list of booster shot providers. "You don't need to go to the same provider where you got your initial series."
In making the case for booster shots, Dr. Anthony Fauci pointed to booster data from Israel that showed a decline in COVID virus reproduction -- meaning a reduced number of people that a person with COVID is likely to infect. The more immunity in a population, the lower the reproduction number.
Currently, Pfizer vaccine recipients are the only ones approved for boosters in the U.S.
"But we do know, those of you who got Moderna, like me, or Johnson and Johnson, that data is being submitted. And we should be able to have recommendations for boosters for those other people as well within a couple of weeks."