Updated COVID-19 Vaccines Now Available in PHUs, State Health Officials Said

Some parish health units (PHUs) in Louisiana now have updated COVID-19 vaccines that protect against the most common strains of the virus. These vaccines are in addition to the ones that are already available at pharmacies and other places. Health officials in the state are telling people that getting the updated vaccines is the best way to protect themselves from the COVID-19 virus.

People who don’t have insurance or don’t have enough insurance can easily and affordably get the latest COVID-19 vaccines through PHUs. As part of the Bridge Access Program, adults without health insurance or with plans that don’t cover the vaccine can get a free COVID-19 vaccine at participating Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and public health units in their area.

Two new vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last month. These vaccines are meant to protect against the XBB.1.5 Omicron subvariant of the COVID-19 virus. Anyone over the age of 6 months should get the updated vaccines. They are expected to protect people even better against getting very sick or dying from the COVID-19 virus.

“Getting a new COVID-19 shot is a great way to make yourself safer from getting the virus.” The updated vaccine is suggested for all people over the age of 6 months. Patients over 65 and those with serious underlying health problems are most likely to have serious complications if they get COVID-19. These people will benefit the most from getting the updated vaccine. “I’m going to get mine at the same time as my flu shot this year, and I think everyone else should do the same,” said Dr. Joseph Kanter, the State Health Officer.

This is because the updated COVID-19 vaccines are no longer bought by the U.S. government through the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program. They can only be bought in stores. Since these changes were made, getting vaccinated now costs money. The new Bridge Access Program and the existing Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program, on the other hand, should cover the cost of COVID-19 vaccines for everyone.

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