Unvaccinated North Carolinians more than 25 times more likely to die from COVID-19

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Here's the latest news and information on COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccines.

6:20 p.m.
The U.S. on Friday opened COVID-19 booster shots to all adults and took the extra step of urging people 50 and older to seek one, aiming to ward off a winter surge as coronavirus cases rise even before millions of Americans travel for the holidays.

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The U.S. on Friday opened COVID-19 booster shots to all adults and took the extra step of urging people 50 and older to seek one.



Until now, Americans faced a confusing list of who was eligible for a booster that varied by age, their health and which kind of vaccine they got first. The Food and Drug Administration authorized changes to Pfizer and Moderna boosters that makes it easier.

Read more here.

11 a.m.
Durham County Public Health Department will host a community vaccination clinic at Brogden Middle School tonight from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The clinic will offer all three doses (first, second and booster) of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine only. The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for anyone 5 years and older.

Anyone who would like to attend is encouraged to register beforehand.

FRIDAY MORNING

According to an update from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, unvaccinated North Carolinians are more than five times more likely to catch COVID-19 than their vaccinated counterparts and more than 25 times more likely to die from the disease.

The report highlights that 10% of COVID-19 cases and 7% of deaths since January 1 have been in vaccinated individuals, however, that is expected as case counts drop, more people get vaccinated, and vaccine efficacy for those who were immunized in the spring wanes.

Still, just 2% of the more than 5.5 million fully vaccinated North Carolinians have gotten COVID-19 after getting their shot. Less than 0.02% died.

THURSDAY


6 p.m.
The FDA is expected to authorize both the Pfizer and Moderna booster doses soon.

The CDC could take action as early as Friday, meaning all American adults could choose to get that booster shot as early as this weekend.

Andrea Blanford spoke to a local pharmacist about what could be another big wave of demand for the COVID-19 vaccine:

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FDA could soon authorize Pfizer and Moderna booster shots. That could mean another wave of people flocking to get those boosters in as early as the weekend. Andrea Blanford reports.



4:33 p.m.

The Halifax County Health Department reports 8,027 total positive COVID-19 cases since March 2020. One additional death has been added for a total of 144 in the county since the start of the pandemic. That's 1.79% of cases.

There are 23 new positive COVID-19 cases reported since Nov. 12.

In all, 97.46% of patients with COVID-19 in the county have recovered.

There are 64 known cases of patients who have not yet recovered.

9:45 a.m.
Starting in December, Wake County Public Health will no longer accept walk-ins for COVID-19 tests at drive-thru testing locations.

The health department said the new policy -will allow the county to allow resources to focus on people who are symptomatic, have been exposed to COVID-19 or are at higher risk.

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Starting in December, Wake County Public Health will no longer accept walk-ins for COVID-19 tests.



To make an appointment, click here or call 1-888-675-4567.

THURSDAY MORNING HEADLINES
The Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize Pfizer's and Moderna's COVID-19 booster doses for all adults as soon as Thursday, a government official with direct knowledge of the process told ABC News.

That would come in time for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's advisory panel meeting this Friday to discuss booster recommendations regarding all adults for both manufacturers.

The CDC previously signed off on a third dose of both vaccines for certain populations, as well as a booster of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine for anyone 18 years and older.

If both the FDA and CDC sign off on boosters for all adults, they could be allowed as soon as this weekend.

Dr. Anthony Fauci is warning that the vaccines' waning immunity combined with the highly transmissible delta variant will make for a "double whammy" that will impact "even the vaccinated people."
"The somewhat unnerving aspect of it is that if you keep the level of dynamics of the virus in the community at a high level -- obviously the people who are most most vulnerable are the unvaccinated -- but when you have a virus as transmissible as delta, in the context of waning immunity, that dynamic is going to negatively impact even the vaccinated people. So it's a double whammy," Fauci said in a pretaped interview aired at the 2021 STAT Summit Tuesday afternoon.

"You're going to see breakthrough infections, even more so than we see now among the vaccinated," he added.

His grim prediction meets a chorus of alarm bells already being sounded about COVID's renewed spread as more people head inside as the holidays approach, heralding a season of family gatherings.
Copyright © 2021 ABC11-WTVD-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved - The Associated Press contributed to this report.