New COVID-19 vaccine has been approved:  What it means for respiratory illness season and what it means for you and your family

Following the approval this week of a new COVID-19 vaccine by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s important for Arizona families to get updated on the newest guidance

The CDC recommends that everyone ages six months and older get a new, updated vaccine for COVID-19, commonly referred to as the “updated monovalent vaccine.”  It’s also safe to get your COVID-19 vaccines at the same time you get your flu and RSV vaccines.  Please note that if you received a COVID-19 vaccine recently, you should wait two months before receiving the new vaccine. 

For many people the vaccine will be available at no cost, but people should check with their healthcare provider or their insurance carrier to be sure the new vaccine is covered. Medical offices can begin ordering vaccines right away, but it may take one week before the vaccines are delivered. Check with your medical provider or pharmacy to be sure they plan to dispense the vaccine.

Arizonans who participate in Medicare or Medicaid (AHCCCS) will be able to access COVID-19 vaccines at no cost to them. For those who are uninsured, there will be free vaccines offered through the CDC Bridge Access Program. Anyone can check out vaccines.gov, which is the most up-to-date resource for vaccine locations. The site will be updated this week as healthcare providers receive their vaccine deliveries and will show sites that offer free vaccines.

Arizona has been experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases since the beginning of August. From Wednesday Sept. 6 through Wednesday, Sept. 13, Arizona reported 4,068 new cases of COVID-19, up from 2,476 cases in the previous week. There were 18 new deaths from COVID-19 in the past week, as many as the three previous weeks combined. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Arizona has seen more than 2.5 million cases of COVID-19 and 33,749 deaths statewide.

Going into the fall respiratory season, it’s important that Arizonans remain current with the most updated COVID-19 vaccine, continue to wash their hands frequently, and avoid touching their face, especially after touching public surfaces.  As with any respiratory illness, please  stay home from school or work when sick and always cough or sneeze into your elbow to keep from spreading germs to those around you. 

Visit our websites for more information on flu, RSV, and COVID-19  and how you can prevent illness this season and keep yourself and your loved ones healthy. 

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