The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new COVID-19 booster vaccine Monday that is expected to hit pharmacies by the end of this week.
The new booster shot is expected to target the current variants of COVID-19, including the new BA.2.86 strain. The most dominant strain in the U.S. is EG.5, also called Eris, which is an offshoot of the omicron variant. The vaccine was specifically created to target the XBB.1.5 strain.
The U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention recommends everyone 6 months and older to get the new vaccine, as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths have been on the rise in some parts of the country, including in Sedgwick County.
Flu season is also approaching, so if you are planning to get the vaccine, you can get the new COVID booster and the flu shot in one visit. Here are the details and where to find the new booster in Wichita.
Today, we took action approving & authorizing for emergency use updated COVID-19 vaccines formulated to more closely target currently circulating variants & to provide better protection against serious consequences of COVID. Here’s what you need to know: https://t.co/A7JIDLBZNG pic.twitter.com/q1M0NerFUS
— U.S. FDA (@US_FDA) September 11, 2023
Where can I get vaccinated in Wichita?
Walgreens announced earlier this week it will begin to receive shipments of the vaccine and accept appointments immediately. You can schedule your appointment at Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine. Earlier appointments could open up as shipments arrive at area stores.
CVS pharmacies are also expecting to receive the new vaccine next week. You can set up an appointment online at CVS.com.
A Sedgwick County spokesperson told The Eagle the county health department expects to receive shipments of the updated Pfizer vaccine by Sept. 25. The health department will open up its clinic for those covered by CHIP (the Children’s Health Insurance Program) or Medicaid/KanCare.
The clinic is at 2716 W. Central, and you can make an appointment by calling 316-660-7300. It is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday excluding Thursdays, when it’s open from noon to 6:30 p.m.
If you are covered by insurance, the county encourages you to contact your health care provider for vaccine appointments.
If you are worried about the cost, the CDC’s Bridge Access Program offers free COVID-19 vaccines to adults who either have no insurance or whose insurance does not cover the shot. You can find clinics around you that offer vaccines through this program by visiting vaccines.gov.