COLUMBIA, N.C. (WNCT) — The health department that serves in Martin, Tyrrell and Washington counties is the latest to have a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine available for those who are immunocompromised.
“We want to make sure everyone has that high level of protection,” said Wes Gray, Martin Tyrrell Washington District Health Department director.
Martin Tyrrell Washington District Health Department is working to do that. Starting this week, the department is offering a third dose of the COVID vaccine for people with weakened immune systems. It joins systems in other counties around Eastern North Carolina such as Pitt, Hyde and Carteret in doing the same.
“Those are patients that are on cancer treatments, people who have had organ donations and they’re currently on immunosuppressive drugs, people with untreated HIV, or any other condition that weakens the immune system,” Gray said.
MTW Health Department started taking appointments for the third dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines Monday. Gray said the goal is to make sure everyone has the same amount of protection from the virus.
“Those people with weakened immune systems if their level of protection is not equal to everybody else that the third dose is definitely warranted to make sure they get to that level. We really would like everybody else that has not had the vaccine to make sure they get the vaccine,” he explained.
While Gray is seeing a lot of hesitancy surrounding the shots, he anticipates a positive response to a third dose. That’s particularly true as COVID cases are already being discovered within some of the school systems, including in Tyrrell County.
“I think we’ve seen a lot of interest in getting this third dose from our community. We’ve definitely done a lot of vaccines in the 65 and older population. a lot of people in that population would qualify as immune-compromised.”
Gray said he’s also seeing a positive trend in vaccine numbers and testing.
“Right now, we’re seeing quite a big uptick in people getting their first vaccines. We’re really hoping that people who have not had their first vaccine for whatever reason decide to come in and get that now,” he said.
Call (252) 793-3023 to schedule a vaccine appointment at the offices in Plymouth, Williamston and Columbia. Vaccines are free and available to anyone 12 and older. You’re asked to continue to wear a mask.