Vaccine FAQs

Craven County COVID-19 Vaccination:  Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for the vaccine? 

Anyone that is 5 years of age or older is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. You must be at least 5 years of age to receive the Pfizer vaccine and at least 18 years of age to receive the Moderna vaccine. 

Which vaccine will my 5-11 year old receive?

Children are given two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Each dose is one-third the amount given to people ages 12 and older. The dose for 5–11 year olds is different from the dose authorized for people ages 12 and older, and children in this age group should not receive the 12 and older dose. 

The Pfizer lower dose COVID-19 vaccine is currently the only one available for children between the ages of 5–11. Parents and guardians with questions about COVID-19 vaccines should talk with their child's physician.  

How do I make an appointment? 

Individuals should call our COVID-19 Vaccine call center at 252-636-6693 to schedule a vaccine appointment. The call center hours are Monday - Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm. 

Where do I go to get my shot?

When scheduling your vaccine appointment, please verify the location of your appointment. Some individuals will be scheduled at the Craven County Health Department (2818 Neuse Blvd. New Bern) and others will be scheduled at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center (203 S. Front St. New Bern)

What if I have difficulty getting out of my car?

If an individual has difficulty getting out of their car, we have staff that can come to them. We also have wheelchairs available and our vaccine site is handicap accessible. If you need assistance, call 252-636-6693 when you arrive for your appointment and someone will assist you. 

How long will it take?

Since we have scheduled appointments and we are pre-registering there are no long lines. Your visit will be very quick. The longest portion of the visit is the 15-minute wait after you receive your vaccine to make sure there are no adverse reactions.

How much does it cost?

It is free to everyone, even if they don't have health insurance and regardless of immigration status. 

How will I get my second dose?

We will schedule your follow up appointment for the second dose during your 15-minute wait time for the first dose. If you receive the Pfizer vaccine you will be scheduled three weeks later, if you receive the Moderna vaccine you will be scheduled four weeks later. For every first dose we give there is a second dose associated with it and sent to us automatically from our state contacts.

Do I have to get my second dose at the same place I got my first dose?

With increased vaccine supply across North Carolina, you no longer have to receive the second dose at the same site that you received the first dose. If you go to a different provider for the second dose, make sure you go to a provider with the same brand of vaccine (e.g., Pfizer or Moderna) that you received for your first dose and bring your vaccination card with you so the provider can confirm which vaccine you received and when.

Can I get a additional dose of the vaccine?

Individuals who are immunocompromised and received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines can now receive a additional dose to better protect themselves from COVID-19.  The additional dose should be given at least 28 days after completing the initial two-dose series. 

Based on CDC recommendations, immunocompromised people include those who have:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

People should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.

Can I get a booster dose of the vaccine?

To strengthen and extend protections against COVID-19, boosters are now available to all North Carolinians 18 and older. 

You are eligible for a booster if:

  • You are 18 or older, and
  • You received your second/final dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines more than SIX months ago, or
  • You received your Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than TWO months ago.

Get a booster anywhere COVID-19 vaccines are available. Booster doses are free for everyone. No insurance or doctor's note is needed. Please note that the Craven County Health Department does not administer the J&J vaccine. 

Additionally, individuals are now able to receive any brand of the COVID-19 vaccine for their booster shot. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type they originally received and others may prefer to get a different booster. Limited preliminary evidence suggests that booster doses of one of the two mRNA vaccines — Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech — more effectively raise antibody levels than a booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

People should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting a booster dose is appropriate for them.

Can I get the vaccine if I have already had COVID-19?

Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that reinfection with COVID-19 is possible, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection. If you were treated for COVID-19 symptoms with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Experts do not yet know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called “natural immunity,” varies from person to person.  It is rare for someone who has had COVID-19 to get infected again. It also is uncommon for people who do get COVID-19 again to get it within 90 days of when they recovered from their first infection.  We will not know how long immunity produced by vaccination lasts until we have more data on how well the vaccines work.

Can I get the vaccine if I am currently positive for COVID-19?

You will need to be symptom free for at least 24 hours and completed your isolation for 10 days prior to receiving the vaccine.

Can I get the vaccine if I have recently had another vaccine like the flu shot?

You can get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, including a flu vaccine, at the same visit. Experience with other vaccines has shown that the way our bodies develop protection, known as an immune response, and possible side effects after getting vaccinated are generally the same when given alone or with other vaccines. Learn more here .