This holiday season, as many of us prepare to celebrate with friends and familia, it is important to do all we can to stay healthy and protect against COVID-19.
To prevent severe illness, vaccines are still our best tool.
The good news is: You’re covered! Updated COVID-19 vaccines are now available and remain free of cost to you!
See how you can “Come Home Covered” against COVID-19 during the holidays!
Should We Worry about COVID-19?
COVID-19 has not gone away.
U.S. Latinos continue to suffer a disproportionate share of cases.
Also, CDC data shows that the percentages of positive tests, hospitalizations, and deaths have increased from October 2023 to December 2023.
With holiday celebrations upon us, it’s crucial that people and their loved ones are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccination.
How Can You Protect Yourself from COVID-19?
Staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your familia against the worst outcomes of the virus, particularly for individuals in long-term care, caregivers, aging adults and those at higher risk for severe illness.
As of Sept. 12, 2023, CDC recommends:
- Everyone ages 5 and older get one dose of an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect against serious illness from COVID-19.
- Children ages 6 months to 4 years need multiple doses of COVID-19 vaccines to be up to date, including at least one dose of an updated COVID-19 vaccine.
All patients and family members should stay up to date with their shots and get the updated COVID-19 vaccine, said Dr. Ilan Shapiro, a Latino physician with AltaMed.
“We often see more respiratory infections during the winter months, so it’s critical we do all that we can to protect our loved ones, of all ages,” Shapiro said. “COVID-19 vaccines are safe, available, and free of cost for everyone. Let’s keep our family, friends, and children safe this holiday season!”
Are COVID-19 Vaccines Free?
Vaccines for children and adults are free.
“If you haven’t gotten vaccinated against COVID-19 before gathering for the holidays, it’s not too late! Go get your COVID-19 vaccine, which is available free of cost to you and your loved ones,” said Dr. Katrine Wallace, an epidemiologist and science communicator.
Where Can I Get a COVID-19 Vaccine?
Use Vaccines.gov to find a location near you.
Then call or visit their website to make an appointment.
Here are some other tips from the CDC:
- If you have insurance, check with your selected location or your insurer to confirm that COVID-19 vaccine is covered, and the location is in network.
- If you have health insurance but it doesn’t fully cover COVID-19 vaccines, you can find locations that provide free vaccines for adults by narrowing your search to find locations that are part of the Bridge Access Program. Check with your location or insurer to confirm that the location is in network.
- If you don’t have health insurance, you can find locations that provide free vaccines for adults by narrowing your search to find locations that are part of the Bridge Access Program.
Still Undecided on COVID-19 Vaccination?
To encourage Latinos to get vaccinated, Salud America! is sharing stories of real Latinos who are squashing misinformation and getting vaccinated.
Take, for example, Jesus Larralde.
Jesus was uncertain about the COVID-19 vaccine because of potential side effects.
But, to prevent him from getting sick and spreading the disease to his family and his father, who had recently overcome cancer, he got the vaccine. He felt no side effects.
“We need to stop spreading this thing around. Because without the shots, it’s not going to happen. I mean, nothing’s going to get fixed, it’s going to be worse and worse, and it might mutate into something stronger, or a different sickness is going to come out after that. So we need to stop it,” Larralde said.
Editor’s Note: Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio is a partner in the “You’re Covered” campaign of the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project, led by the Alliance for Aging Research, Healthy Women, and the National Caucus and Center on Black Aging.
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