The CDC Recommends That All Residents Over the Age of 6 Months Be Vaccinated
By Dolores Quintana
The wait for the newest Covid vaccine is over. After the FDA approved the newest vaccine earlier this week, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has subsequently recommended these shots for all individuals aged 6 months and older. These revised vaccines, while closely resembling their previously approved counterparts, have been fine-tuned to target the XBB variants that gained prominence during the past winter. You can find more information about the pharmacies that have the vaccine at Vaccines.gov.
Both Moderna and Pfizer, the pharmaceutical giants at the forefront of COVID vaccination efforts, have assured the public that booster shots are readily available. Interested individuals can now reach out directly to pharmacies and hospitals to schedule their appointments.
Moderna, in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch, conveyed that “Moderna’s updated COVID-19 vaccine is being shipped to major retail pharmacies nationwide, and consumers can reach out to them directly to make their vaccination appointments.”
Pfizer, meanwhile, has been proactively manufacturing the vaccine in preparation for FDA authorization. This ensures a ready supply for the upcoming fall and winter seasons, with doses set to be distributed to pharmacies, hospitals, and clinics across the United States.
CVS Health® has promptly responded to the FDA’s authorization by making the updated COVID-19 vaccine available at its CVS Pharmacy locations. Pharmacies are already in the process of receiving the new vaccine, and inventory will continue to be restocked throughout the week. The expectation is that all CVS Pharmacy locations will have the updated vaccine in stock by early next week.
Appointments for vaccination, open to individuals aged five and above, can be scheduled via CVS.com and the CVS Pharmacy app. Walk-ins will also be accommodated as individual locations receive vaccine supplies. Furthermore, MinuteClinic locations will soon offer the new COVID-19 vaccine for patients aged 18 months and above, with appointment bookings available at MinuteClinic.com.
Sree Chaguturu, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at CVS Health, emphasized the significance of vaccination in the ongoing battle against COVID-19: “COVID-19 continues to impact communities across the country, so it’s important that we use the tools we have to stay healthy. Vaccination is the most effective way to do this. It’s vital that we keep up with vaccines to help control the continued spread of COVID-19. Through a simple vaccination, we can all help protect ourselves, our families, and our communities.”
Rite-Aid also expressed its intention to make the updated COVID vaccine available at all of its pharmacy locations in the near future, although a specific timeline was not provided. Customers will be able to schedule appointments starting Friday, and walk-ins will be welcomed once the vaccine becomes accessible in their stores.
Walgreens, joining the vaccination effort, announced that it is now offering the updated shots at its locations across the nation. Consumers can immediately schedule appointments, with the earliest slots opening up next Monday. The company may offer earlier appointments if vaccine supplies arrive ahead of schedule. Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are currently en route to Walgreens locations nationwide.
It’s worth noting that, consistent with previous iterations of the COVID-19 vaccine, these shots come at no cost to consumers. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended these vaccines for children, obliging the government to provide them free of charge to kids and commercially insured adults.
The federal government’s Bridge Access Program will extend coverage for the shots to the estimated 25 million to 30 million uninsured adults in the U.S., as reported by KFF Health News. Under this program, costs will be covered for pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS to administer the vaccine for free. Additionally, Pfizer and Moderna will donate a certain number of doses to contribute to this nationwide vaccination effort, as indicated by the CDC.