Updated COVID-19 vaccine now available in San Diego County
The Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months and older get an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect against the virus. Pharmacies are now taking appointments to administer the new vaccine.
Why it matters
According to San Diego County, since the beginning of September, there have been more than 1,800 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
“There are still people being hospitalized with COVID. There are still people dying from COVID, so it's not gone away,” said Dr. Alice Pong, a pediatric infectious disease physician at Rady Children's Hospital. “Anything we can do to mitigate harm and to protect ourselves and our families, I think, is a good idea.”
According to Dr. Pong, this vaccine is different from the original COVID-19 vaccine and can provide protection against the variants that are currently responsible for most infections and hospitalizations in the United States.
“XBB 1.5, that's what the current, new COVID vaccine is based on,” Pong said. “Over time the viruses just mutated. And there's all these different variants that pop up.”
CVS Pharmacist Saif Namiq says their locations are well staffed with people who can administer the vaccine.
“We actually started getting the vaccine last week so the majority of our stores in San Diego do carry the vaccine, and we're offering it to our patients,” Namiq said.
Namiq said you can book an appointment on their website, CVS.com or through their app.
“Where it's very easy for them to make multiple appointments for multiple family members, or even multiple vaccines for them,” Namiq said. “For example, if they want to get the flu shot and the COVID shot at the same time. There should be no issues with that, and we also gladly take walk-ins for anybody that would like to get the vaccine as well.”
San Diegans can also expect the updated vaccine to be available at Rite Aid by this weekend.
If you received a COVID-19 booster recently, the CDC recommends waiting at least two months from that shot before getting the updated vaccine.
Pong especially recommended the new shots for certain groups. “If you have any underlying health conditions, if you are around older people or other people with health conditions. These are all good reasons to do what you can to prevent yourself from getting sick,” she said.
The vaccine is free for most adults living in the U.S. through their private health insurance plans and those without insurance can get the updated vaccine through the CDC’s Bridge Access Program.