Now that updated COVID-19 shots have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, major pharmacy chains are starting to schedule patients for the vaccines.
The shots are approved for almost all Americans over age 6 months.
CVS said the new shots are now available at some pharmacies, with more locations obtaining stock of the new vaccines in the coming week. All locations are expected to have the vaccines in stock by early next week, CVS said.
Pharmacies will administer shots to people 5 and up. Patients can sign up for the shot on CVS' website.CVS Minute Clinic locations will offer the shot for all eligible age groups.
Walgreens said patients can begin scheduling vaccine appointments now. Administration of the vaccines will begin Monday for all stores.
Walgreens said some stores may begin offering the vaccine prior to Monday as inventory arrives at locations. Walgreens said it will administer shots to all eligible individuals.
Like CVS, Walgreens allows patients to book appointments online.
Generally, COVID-19 vaccines are covered by insurance. Those who are uninsured can get a COVID-19 vaccine free of charge through the government's Bridge Access Program. Through the program, the government will pay pharmacies per dose to facilitate COVID-19 shots at no charge for those who are uninsured.
Nearly 21,000 pharmacies, including 10,000 CVS and 9,000 Walgreens locations, are part of the Bridge Access Program. While it's not active yet, vaccines.gov will allow individualsto search for participating providers administering shots.
The new vaccines are intended to provide protection against the most recent variants of the virus. Last year's bivalent COVID-19 booster is now considered obsolete and off the market.
Following the FDA's authorization, the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted 13-1 to recommend the shot for all Americans over 6 months of age.
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