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What you need to know about the new COVID vaccine

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – As flu season approaches, it’s time to think about getting a flu shot, and this year you may want to consider the new COVID vaccine.
The vaccine was approved by the FDA on Monday. On Tuesday, the CDC recommended that everyone 6 months and older get the updated shots this fall.
“This vaccine is supposed to protect against XBB.1.5, which is the most dominant COVID strain right now, but also some variants as well. This is the first time that Pfizer and Moderna have come out with the most recent vaccine that is fully approved. It is not just approved for emergency use only,” public health nurse with the Eau Claire City-County Health Department, Kristy Polden, said.
Since the National COVID Emergency Declarations ended, there’s been a decrease in federal funding for the vaccine. However, most people should still be able to get it for free.
“After the ending of that emergency declaration. We are going back to where we can get vaccine from the state. It just has to be for people who are underinsured or not insured. And people who are insured tend to get it at their provider or a pharmacy. The health department will have the COVID vaccine for those that are under-insured or not insured,” Polden said.
The vaccine is expected to be available in the Chippewa Valley by the end of this month.
“A lot of pharmacies and providers should get it, maybe even this upcoming week. We will have it at the health Department towards the end of September on the 26th. You can get any one that you would want between the Novavax, Pfizer and Moderna as long as you are 12 and up,” Polden said.
Polden recommends getting the new vaccine sooner rather than later.
“Even if people think it’s not necessary for them, it is still a good idea to get vaccinated and to stay up to date on vaccines so that we can protect other people that we know are higher risk and just other people who are immunocompromised in the community,” Polden said.
She said you can save yourself a trip and get the new COVID vaccine at the same time as your flu shot.
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