Omicron’s special Covid boost shot is finally here – and it’s probably already available on a vaccine site near you.
The new shots from Pfizer and Moderna are bivalent, meaning they target the original Covid strain and the BA.5 omicron subvariant. Last week, US Food and Drug Administration and Center for Disease Prevention and Control approved Pfizer’s latest booster for people 12 years and over, and Moderna’s latest photo for people 18+.
To be eligible, you must complete your main vaccination series — and at least two months from the last dose of any Covid vaccine, According to the CDC. The agency adviser also said that if you have recently contracted Covid, You should consider waiting three months after negative testing before getting your updated booster.
New shots are free to receive, for now. This is where you can get it if you qualify:
- Walgreens started offer Pfizer and Moderna’s new boosters on Friday. Shots haven’t reached all the chain locations yet, but new appointments are added every day. You can view and schedule appointments at Walgreens websitein the pharmacy app or by calling 1-800-WALGREENS.
- CVS also started offer both boosters are updated on Friday. Its online system allows you to schedule multiple patients at once, which can make it easier for your family to get vaccinated together. You can schedule the appointment at CVS website or in the pharmacy app.
- Several states — including Massachusetts, New Jersey and Colorado — has a website to help you find other clinics with new booster stocks. Check your state’s department of health website to see if it offers similar resources.
- Vaccines.gov currently says to “check back soon” for sites offering updated boosters. You can still call each location listed on the website to see if there are any new boosters available.
Walgreens’ online scheduling tool makes it clear that a location offers “updated boosters.” Other pharmacies and clinics, including CVS, don’t have to specify—but any booster shots you receive now will be the new ones, according to recent FDA guidelines.
That’s because when the FDA official last week’s new booster, also changed the authorization for the original “monovalent” vaccine that has been in use since December 2020. That original shot can no longer be used as a booster dose for people 12 years of age and older, although it is still only the primary vaccine choice for unvaccinated people. .
More than 200 million people qualify for the new injection, a CDC official he said last week. So far, the Biden administration has secured 171 million doses of new boosters, including 105 million from Pfizer and 66 million from Moderna — an indicator that the country’s supply of free doses is likely to meet demand from the general public.
If you can’t find an appointment now, don’t worry: The doses are still being sent to vaccine sites across the country. Appointment availability is likely to increase in the coming days and weeks.
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