Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approves updated COVID-19 vaccines
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 13, 2023
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HARTFORD, Conn. – On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices met and voted to recommend the updated COVID-19 vaccine (2023-2024 formulation) for everyone 6 months and older. The updated vaccines are formulated to more closely target current circulating XBB variants.
These updated vaccines provide better protection against the more serious consequences of COVID-19 including hospitalization and death. The updated vaccines—which are manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna—are expected to be commercially available for the public later this week. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get one updated Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of whether they’ve received any original COVID-19 vaccines. Children aged 6 months through 5 years of age may need additional doses depending on the number of doses they’ve previously received and their age. Additional information of the updated COVID-19 vaccines can be found on the CDC website.
“This is the time of year when respiratory viruses circulate, and we have the tools at our disposal to help protect ourselves,” said Connecticut Department of Public Health Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD. “With the start of the new school year coupled with the fall season and spending more time indoors, there is no better time to receive this extra level of protection which targets these variants and prevents transmission of this virus.”
Commissioner Juthani added that respiratory virus/flu season typically starts in October and usually peaks between December and February. Flu season usually concludes in April but sometimes lasts until May. Individuals can contact their health care provider to receive the updated COVID-19 and flu shots at the same time or they can make an appointment at a retail pharmacy, such as CVS and Walgreens. Residents may also visit www.vaccines.gov to find a location for their COVID-19 and flu vaccines.
According to the CDC, this fall the U.S. Government COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Program will end. COVID-19 vaccines will still be free for most Americans through their health insurance plans. For adults (ages 18-64) without insurance and those adults whose insurance will not provide free COVID-19 vaccines, the CDC’s Bridge Access Program will provide free COVID-19 vaccines for a limited time. For more information on the Bridge Access Program, please visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/bridge.