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'We need to keep ourselves healthy': Updated COVID vaccines arrive at pharmacies

Pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS have already started receiving shipments of the new vaccine.

MACON, Ga. — With the update to the COVID-19 vaccine, it is now available at most pharmacies. 

13WMAZ reached out to CVS and Walgreens about their availability for the new vaccine and both have shipments.

Infectious disease specialist, Dr. Jennifer Hoffman with Piedmont says the new vaccine will fight against the newest variant. She says the sooner people receive the newest vaccine the better. 

"Depending on your risk tolerance and your personal degree of concern, you may want to take steps to try to prevent that. Most of us, 90% of the population has some degree of immunity against COVID. Either from immunization, prior infection, or both," Dr. Hoffman said.

Kimberly Collins lives in Macon. She says she would be getting the COVID-19 vaccine because it's important to focus on your health. 

"You get a certain age, we try to keep ourselves healthy and we need to keep ourselves healthy because of the virus and stuff that's going around," Collins said.

The newest subvariant, EG.5 is the dominant strain in the U.S., and the FDA has updated and approved the new vaccine that will target the circulating strains. 

Dr. Hoffman says older folks are more vulnerable to infection. 

According to the CDC, the updated COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for everyone over the age of five. 

The newest shot from Moderna and Pfizer will be available to most Americans even if they've never had a COVID shot. This shift comes as the fall season approaches and treats other illnesses like the Flu and RSV.

The deliveries of this vaccine mark the first largely purchased and delivered through the traditional commercial market, instead of the government-bought supplies from earlier in the pandemic. Michael Hokanson with the North Central Health District about receiving the updated vaccine:

"Since the new vaccine (and it is considered a new vaccine, not a booster) was just approved by the FDA last week, there will still be some time before it will be available locally. While I cannot speak for the entirety of DPH, our local 13-county district has already "pre-booked" our vaccine orders. However, there is no information nor timeline on when we will receive the vaccine. When the new COVID-19 vaccine is available in our health departments, we will share an announcement with media, social media, and our communities across the district."

Hokanson says anyone can come into one of the 13 health districts in Central Georgia and receive the shot at no additional cost. There is no word on if this will change once the new vaccine arrives for the state's health department.

Other places that will have the updated vaccine are Atrium Health Navicent Children’s Care in Downtown Macon and Primary Care West.

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