The first batch of COVID-19 booster shots that target the Omicron subvariants still widely circulating are now available in doctors’ offices and pharmacies.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the new Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna boosters this fall as the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants continue to cause tens of thousands of infections and hundreds of deaths daily across the country.
When is the ideal timing for this booster?
The CDC suggests that people wait at least two months since their most recent Covid shots to get the latest shots.
People who are elderly or immunocompromised should get boosted as soon as they meet those qualifications, David Montefiori, a professor at the Human Vaccine Institute at Duke University Medical Center said. But he suggested that there’s likely to be more wiggle room in the timing for young, healthy people.
“The longer you wait to get the boost, the more potent of a boosting effect it’s going to have,” he said. But for those who hold off, he added, “there’s that trade-off between waiting to get boosted so that you have a stronger boosting effect and the risk of getting infected while you’re waiting to get the boost.”
Montefiori, who is 68, said he got his fifth shot three weeks ago and plans to wait three months for his bivalent booster.
What is different about these boosters, and how will they help against Covid-19?
Just like the earlier vaccines, the most recent boosters employ mRNA technology to train your immune system in the event of an actual coronavirus infection. The key difference, says Hawkinson, is that the updated boosters are “bivalent.” In other words, half of the shot is designed to protect against the original vaccine strain and the other half to protect against the BA.4 and BA.5 versions.
The bivalent boosters achieve this protection by enabling the body to create two types of spike proteins, which imitate components used by the original virus and BA.4 and BA.5 strains. That in turn primes the immune system to identify and destroy the virus, essentially bolstering its response to different possible variants.
Moderna and Pfizer had previously worked on bivalent boosters that showed promise against targeting BA.1, a closely related Omicron subvariant. “But then, BA.4 and BA.5 really jumped on the scene this summer,” says Poehling, “so the FDA said, ‘Let’s switch to BA.4 and BA.5 for our booster vaccine.’” This shift was prudent. Unlike the other Omicron subvariants, BA.1 will probably not be involved in the anticipated winter surge.
Walgreens Covid Vaccine/Scheduling/Booster
Scheduling an appointment is preferred and is available via the Walgreens app, 1-800-WALGREENS, or online at Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine Booster. Additional appointments will be added daily as select Walgreens stores begin to receive the updated COVID-19 boosters.
Walgreens flu Shot/Scheduling Appointment
Walgreens is now offering flu shots for anyone aged 3 years and up at nearly 9,000 store locations nationwide to help reduce the spread of vaccine-preventable illnesses in communities.
A recent spike in flu cases in the Southern Hemisphere is being regarded as a warning sign that flu activity in the U.S. could reach pre-pandemic levels during the 2022-2023 flu season. Australia is nearing the end of its worst flu season in five years, according to a report from the country’s Department of Health and Aged Care.1
“Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect ourselves and those around us from flu and other vaccine preventable illnesses,” said Dr. Anita Patel, PharmD, vice president, pharmacy services development, Walgreens. “To help save families a trip, Walgreens pharmacists are co-administering flu shots and other recommended vaccines during a single visit.”
Walgreens is offering a $5 Walgreens Cash reward in August through December and a $10 Walgreens Cash reward* during the month of September to individuals who receive any vaccination at a Walgreens location.
Appointments are highly encouraged for the best experience. To schedule an appointment for a flu shot or any vaccine at Walgreens, please visit Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine or download the Walgreens app. Individuals will have the option to schedule additional vaccines in the same visit, making it easy and convenient to stay up to date on all recommended vaccines, such as COVID-19, shingles, pneumonia, whooping cough, meningitis, measles, tetanus, typhoid, polio and others.
What are Walgreens business hours?
Walgreens pharmacy, photo services, health, and beauty services are available throughout the day on all the eves of the year. It has been serving people with all their essential needs on Thanksgiving Day for decades. Whether you need a bottle of wine or allergy medicine or a box of stuff, Walgreens is the place to go. Most of the Walgreens locations are open 24 hours, and you can get all your groceries, beauty, and personal care.