Important Updates: The New COVID Vaccine Rollout and Accessibility
Good morning! We’re back this week with more COVID-19 updates to help you stay informed and healthy!
The past few weeks have brought a flurry of activity in the realm of COVID news. The newly FDA-approved and CDC-recommended COVID-19 vaccine is now becoming available. WBUR reports that the most recent version of the COVID-19 vaccine, developed to combat the omicron variant XBB.1.5, now has limited availability throughout Massachusetts. Nationwide pharmacy chains such as CVS and Walgreens now have the vaccine but it may take several more days, if not weeks, until it is available at local hospitals and clinics.
Additionally, the CDC’s Bridge Access Program has been officially rolled out. This program ensures ongoing access to COVID-19 vaccines, free of charge, for an estimated 25-30 million adults who may have otherwise not had access.
Here’s what you need to know:
- The CDC recommends that individuals aged six months and older should receive the new vaccine, provided it has been at least two months since their last COVID shot.
- For individuals at higher risk, it’s advisable to get the vaccine as soon as possible. However, for healthy young adults and children, the urgency isn’t as great. Some experts suggest getting it in conjunction with your flu shot before the upcoming flu season and holiday period later this fall.
- While the federal government no longer covers the cost of vaccines, those with health insurance should still have access to them free of charge. Under the Bridge Access Program, updated COVID-19 vaccines will be available at no cost to adults who lack health insurance or whose insurance does not cover all associated COVID-19 expenses. This temporary program runs through December 2024.
We’ll continue to keep an eye on COVID-19 news and developments so stay tuned for upcoming communications as they unfold as well as fresh insights and community resources from VEAP!