Updated COVID-19 Vaccines Recommended For Everyone 6 Months And Older

by Pat Haley

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued the recommendation that everyone 6 months and older get an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect against the potentially serious outcomes of COVID-19 illness this fall and winter.

The recommendation follows the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) action approving and authorizing for emergency use updated COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna formulated to more closely target currently circulating variants.  Per the CDC, vaccination remains the best protection against COVID-19-related hospitalization and death and reduces the chance of suffering from Long COVID.  Anyone who has yet to receive any type of COVID-19 vaccination and those whose last dose of any COVID-19 vaccine was over two months ago may receive the updated doses when they become available in the coming days.

The updated COVID-19 vaccines will soon be available at pharmacies, health care providers, state public health clinics, federally qualified health centers, and other facilities. Vaccination will be available free for everyone through one of three methods.Those covered under most private or government insurance plans can receive the vaccine at various pharmacies or providers throughout the state with the cost fully covered by insurance.For those who are uninsured or underinsured, vaccinations will be available at federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), public health clinics, local pharmacies, and certain providers via the State of Delaware’s Immunization Program and at Walgreens, CVS and pharmacies affiliated with the ETrueNorth pharmacy network through the federal government’s Bridge Access Program.  Additionally, children who currently participate in the CDC’s Vaccines for Children Program will also be able to receive free COVID-19 updated vaccines where they receive their routine vaccinations.A full listing of vaccine locations will be posted on www.vaccines.gov as they become available.

The FDA has outlined the following brief guidelines for the updated COVID-19 vaccines to simplify the questions regarding whom should receive the vaccine and when:

  • Individuals 5 years of age and older regardless of previous vaccination are eligible to receive a single dose of an updated mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 2 months since the last dose of any COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Individuals 6 months through 4 years of age who have previously been vaccinated against COVID-19 are eligible to receive one or two doses of an updated mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (timing and number of doses to administer depends on the previous COVID-19 vaccine received).
  • Unvaccinated individuals 6 months through 4 years of age are eligible to receive three doses of the updated authorized Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine or two doses of the updated authorized Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine.

As we approach the fall and winter seasons, the Division of Public Health (DPH) reminds everyone to take the appropriate measures to protect themselves and those around them from all respiratory illnesses including RSV and flu.To learn more about all available vaccines for your age group and health conditions and the appropriate timing and recommendations, please consult your healthcare provider or visit a public health clinic.  

The four general guidelines for staying safe this fall and winter include:

  1. Get vaccinated when eligible for any and all illnesses where available and recommended by a provider.
  2. Stay home if sick with any illness.  Get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms or were exposed to someone with COVID-19.
  3. Inquire about treatment for COVID-19 or other illnesses if you are sick.
  4. Consider wearing a mask in crowded indoor places, as cases rise, or if you or a family member are at higher risk for serious illness.

To learn more, visit de.gov/coronavirus and de.gov/covidvaccine.

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