Tuesday, September 12, 2023

🚨 Important COVID-19 Booster Update 🚨

If you've been wondering about the latest on COVID boosters, we've got you covered! Here's the lowdown on what you need to know:

⚕️ WHAT?
On Monday, the FDA approved 2 new, updated COVID mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna. The boosters should be available starting this week at a pharmacy near you!

COVID-19 vaccination

⚕️ WHY?
Just like the yearly flu shot, health officials believe the updated COVID boosters can help reinforce your immunity, especially as we enter respiratory virus season. Within about 2 weeks of getting the shot, your immunity gets a boost and can reduce your risk of severe COVID. These new boosters are a closer match than prior vaccines to the omicron subvariant XBB.1.5. Preliminary data indicate that the updated boosters should provide adequate protection against both EG.5 and BA.2.86.

⚕️ WHO?
The updated mRNA booster is recommended for everyone 6 months and older. If you're at high risk of severe illness (e.g., over 65, weakened immune system, certain medical conditions), don't hesitate! Pregnant individuals should also consider it. The goal is to keep you out of the hospital.

⚕️ WHEN?
You can get the new booster if it's been at least 2 months since your last one. If you had COVID recently, you can wait 3 months for the booster, but it's okay to wait longer for most. High-risk individuals should act quickly. For lower-risk folks, consider timing it around events like holidays or travel when you're at higher risk.

You may be able to get the new vaccine at your local pharmacy, doctor’s office, community health center or public health department.

⚕️ HOW?
You can get a flu shot and a COVID booster together, although some suggest spacing them out slightly if you've previously had strong reactions to vaccines. For RSV, it's often best to separate it by a week or two. If you're insured, your plan should cover it. For the uninsured, there's the federal Bridge Access Program for free vaccines through 2024.

Stay informed, stay safe, and, remember, your health matters!