Metro Atlanta pharmacies ready for new COVID vaccine, expect doses within next week

The updated COVID-19 vaccine could be arriving in metro Atlanta pharmacies within the next week.

At Briarcliff Pharmacy in DeKalb County, pharmacist Jay Jourdan expects a shipment between seven and 14 days.

“We’ve had patients come in or call us for the past two months seeing if we got the new vaccine in,” Jourdan said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the new COVID vaccine formula Monday, a day before the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off on it.

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The new COVID shots, made by Pfizer and Moderna, target a subvariant of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

More the 90% of COVID viruses circulating now are related to that strain, according to the CDC.

“They’re more up-to-date, they help with the new variants,” Jourdan said. “We always recommend patients stay up to date on their vaccines and get the new one.”

Andy Hey, 73, arrived at Briarcliff Pharmacy Tuesday to get a shot for RSV, a respiratory virus but is eager to get the new Covid vaccine.


“I would probably be elbowing my way first in line,” he said “But yes, I’m gonna get one as soon as I can.”

The new shots will be free to most people through private insurance or Medicare. For the uninsured or underinsured, the CDC is working with health departments and clinics to provide free shots.

The FDA’s approval is part of a move to treat fall updates of the COVID vaccine like getting a yearly flu shot.

“In my opinion, I think everybody shouldn’t have an issue getting it,” Jourdan said. “I think we have enough in stock where it’s not gonna be an issue.”

The FDA says starting at age 5, most people can get a single dose of the new vaccine even if they’ve never had a COVID shot before.

“Regardless of whether it’s a booster or the first two doses, they’re eligible to get the new vaccine two months after their last COVID vaccine,” Jourdan said.

Dr. Sally Wright, a retired pediatrician, came to the Briarcliff Pharmacy for her daughter, Sarah, who’s leaving for Germany this week, to get the flu shot.

She hoped the new COVID vaccine would be available before her departure.

“Just being a physician, I’m aware of all the problems Covid can cause, and the vaccine can protect us from becoming seriously ill,” she said.

Wright urged parents to give their children the new shots.

“I think it’s important to have that immunization to protect us, going into winter when COVID may rise during the season,” Wright said.

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