Updated COVID-19 vaccine coming to the Coastal Health District soon

Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 4:34 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 13, 2023 at 5:12 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone 6 months and older get an updated COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the CDC, the virus that causes COVID-19 is always changing and protection from COVID-19 vaccines declines over time.

“This new vaccine really covers just the strains that are circulating out right now. All the new variants you hear about, this is a vaccine that is dedicated to addressing those particular strains,” Coastal Health District Health Director Dr. Bonzo Reddick said.

While some may be experiencing vaccine fatigue with new versions of the shot and needed boosters, Dr. Reddick said the vaccine regimen is being simplified.

“When we got our original vaccines, unless you got the old Johnson and Johnson you had to get a shot then a month later you have to get another shot and then it was like oh actually you need a booster then you got another shot and it’s like oh, we got this bivalent booster, so you get another shot,” he said.

Dr. Reddick said the newest COVID vaccines will be one and done.

“Doesn’t matter what you have done beforehand, you get one shot and it is up to date. My guess is it will be like this going forward that it will probably be like your flu shot. Every year you get your flu shot, you get your covid shot and it won’t be this just recurring over and over again for the majority of people,” Dr. Reddick said.

The Coastal Health District expects to have the vaccines by this time next week. If you are wondering about the prior versions of the COVID vaccine, the district has actually stopped giving out the older ones.

“It is just so close it doesn’t make a lot of sense to get the old bivalent vaccine that had some of the old strains in it when we have this new one coming out that is so dedicated to the new strains,” Dr. Reddick said.

Experts say most health insurance plans should cover the new vaccine, but they say you can also get the shot from your local health department.

The CDC encourages everyone who has not received a COVID vaccine in the last two months to get this new booster. They also say this coming fall and winter season will be the first that COVID-19, RSV and Flu vaccines will all be available. Make sure to reach out to your doctor to learn more about what works best for you.