New COVID-19 vaccine: When and where you can get the updated booster (2024)

Following approval from federal officials earlier this week, updated COVID-19 vaccines are already being rolled out across the country as cases of the virus begin to rise in many areas.

The newly-formulated doses may be available in some locations as soon as Wednesday, with appointments to get the new shots open at some pharmacies.

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As many are anxious to stay up to date with their vaccines as temperatures begin to get colder, here's a look at where and when you can get your updated booster shot.


Walgreens announced just moments after the CDC's announcement that it was already scheduling appointments for the new vaccine. Appointments can be made via the Illinois-based company's scheduling tool or by calling 1-800-WALGREENS. The pharmacy chain said earlier appointments could become available "as inventory arrives in stores."


CVS also announced Wednesday that the updated vaccine "is now available" at its pharmacy locations, with clinics and pharmacies expected to receive their first shipments Wednesday. Shipments are expected to continue on a "rolling basis throughout the week," with all locations having the new vaccine in stock by early next week, according to the company.


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Appointments can be made at and via the pharmacy chain's app, but walk-ins will also be accepted as various locations receive doses. MinuteClinic locations will begin offering the new vaccine for those 18 months and older in the coming weeks.

“COVID-19 continues to impact communities across the country, so it’s important that we use the tools we have to stay healthy,” said Dr. Sree Chaguturu, executive vice president and chief medical officer for CVS Health. “Vaccination is the most effective way to do this. It’s vital that we keep up with vaccines to help control the continued spread of COVID-19. Through a simple vaccination, we can all help protect ourselves, our families and our communities.”

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The news comes as COVID cases and hospitalizations rising in the United States.

The new boosters have been formulated differently than previous iterations, targeting a specific strain of COVID that is responsible for nearly 90% of the subvariants currently in circulation in the United States.

"We have more tools than ever to prevent the worst outcomes from COVID-19," CDC Director Dr. Mandy Cohen said in a media statement. "CDC is now recommending updated COVID-19 vaccination for everyone 6 months and older to better protect you and your loved ones."

Here's what to know about the new shots:

Who is eligible?

The CDC has recommended that patients that are 6 months of age or older receive an updated booster shot against COVID-19.

The CDC’s recommendations also indicated that individuals under the age of 6, or those with weakened immune systems, may need multiple booster shots, but should do so after consultation with a physician.

The FDA’s recommendations mirror the CDC’s statements from this week.

What is new about this booster shot?

According to the CDC and FDA, the COVID-19 formulations being released by the major vaccine manufacturers will be “monovalent,” meaning they are specifically-designed to target descendants of the XBB.1.5 COVID variant.

That variant, itself a descendant of omicron, has already spawned multiple new subvariants, including EG.5 and FL.1.5.1, and the FDA and CDC both believe that the new vaccine will effectively target those strains as they start to spread in the population of the U.S.

According to the CDC, more than 90% of the COVID viruses circulating now are closely related to the XBB.1.5 strain.

Will the new shots cost anything?

Since the federal national emergency for COVID has ended, the cost of the shots will not be covered by the government, according to officials.

Both Pfizer and Moderna have said they are pricing vaccine doses at more than $100, but officials say the shots will still be free for most Americans that are covered by private insurance or Medicare.

For those who are not insured, the CDC says it is working with health departments, clinics and pharmacies to temporarily provide free shots at this time.

Who should get them?

Those individuals who haven’t received a booster since last fall, and who haven’t had a recent COVID infection, should get the new booster shots as soon as possible, according to experts.

Those who are unvaccinated can also get the booster without completing the multi-dose primary series beforehand, according to the new FDA guidance.

Those who have recently had COVID may wait approximately 90 days to maximize the effectiveness of the new booster, according to officials.

Within the next few weeks, several vaccines will become available to help keep you and your loved ones healthy over this fall and winter season, a time when viruses tend to hit the hardest, NBC Chicago's Lauren Petty reports.

What are the side effects?

According to the CDC and FDA, the side effects of the booster shots are similar to those of previous versions of the vaccine. They include headache, chills, fever, nausea, and pain or swelling of the injection site.

What are the dominant variants of the virus?

There are numerous omicron-offshoots currently in circulation, with EG.5 the most prevalent, responsible for an estimated 21.5% of COVID infections in the U.S.

FL.1.5.1 is close behind, with several XBB variants also becoming more widespread in recent weeks.

New COVID-19 vaccine: When and where you can get the updated booster (2024)


When did the latest COVID vaccine become available? ›

The 2023-2024 vaccine has been available since September 2023.

What is the latest COVID vaccination? ›

CDC recommends the 2023–2024 updated COVID-19 vaccines—Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Novavax—to protect against serious illness from COVID-19.

How often should I have a COVID booster? ›

If you have had your primary vaccination course and you're aged: 75 years or older, you're recommended further doses of COVID-19 vaccine every 6 months. 18 – 74 years with severe immunocompromise, you're recommended further doses of COVID-19 vaccine every 12 months.

How long does the COVID vaccine last? ›

The Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Novavax vaccines protect against many known variants of COVID-19. The Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines offer immunity against COVID-19 for up to six months.

Which is better Pfizer or Moderna bivalent booster? ›

Pfizer: Is There a “Best” mRNA Vaccine? Both of the mRNA vaccines available in the US are highly effective against severe COVID-19, but recent studies suggest that Moderna's elicits a stronger immune response and might be better at preventing breakthrough infections.

Is the COVID vaccine no longer approved? ›

The updated mRNA vaccines are each approved for individuals 12 years of age and older and are authorized under emergency use for individuals 6 months through 11 years of age. As part of today's actions, the bivalent Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines are no longer authorized for use in the United States.

What are the side effects of the newest COVID vaccine? ›

Common side effects include pain at the injection site, fever, body aches and headaches.

Where can you get a COVID vaccination? ›

If you're eligible, you can get a spring COVID-19 vaccine by:
  • booking online.
  • going to a walk in COVID-19 vaccination site.
  • booking on the NHS App.
  • talking to a local NHS service, such as a GP surgery.
  • talking to your care home.

Which COVID vaccine is safest? ›

COVID-19 Vaccine Safety — What We Know

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are strongly recommended as safe and effective at preventing serious illness or death from COVID-19.

Which vaccines last a lifetime? ›

Yancey said that for vaccines that “last a lifetime,” which include vaccines for measles or hepatitis B, the viruses themselves tend to be uniform when they replicate. “They replicate very faithfully, so if you have hepatitis B, every hepatitis B virus in your body looks identical,” Dr.

What is the latest variant of the COVID vaccine? ›

The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine (2023-2024 Formula) includes a monovalent (single) component that corresponds to the Omicron variant XBB. 1.5 of SARS-CoV-2.

How long do you have immunity after COVID? ›

The immune response from a COVID-19 infection usually tamps down after 3-4 months, says Kawsar Talaat, MD, a vaccinologist and associate professor in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.

What are the side effects of the latest COVID vaccine? ›

Possible side effects: Pain, redness, or swelling at the site where the shot was administered, and/or tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, or nausea throughout the rest of the body. If these side effects occur, they should go away in a few days. A few side effects are serious, but rare.

Is the COVID vaccine safe long term? ›

Side effects that don't go away after a few days are thought of as long term. Vaccines rarely cause any long-term side effects.

What are the CDC guidelines for the COVID vaccine in 2024? ›

On February 28, 2024, ACIP recommended that all persons aged ≥65 years receive 1 additional dose of any updated COVID-19 vaccine (i.e., Moderna, Novavax, or Pfizer-BioNTech). This additional dose should be administered ≥4 months after the previous dose of updated COVID-19 vaccine.

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