On September 12, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) unveiled its updated recommendation for the COVID vaccine which was newly approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The vaccine, developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, is recommended by the CDC to anyone older than six months of age to protect against the fall and winter virus season. The new shots were approved amid concerns of the rising number of hospitalizations and new COVID variants. Even though the public is accustomed to calling the additional shots boosters, the CDC tried to move away from this phrasing by simply naming them “updated COVID vaccines” as they attempt to frame the new shot as an annual immunization like the flu shot; this adjustment could possibly be in an effort to combat Americans’ weariness about getting another round of vaccination for COVID.

For people who have recently had COVID, they should wait another three months before they receive the updated shot. People who have recently gotten boosted should wait to get the vaccine for another two months. The shot is especially important for high risk individuals, including people above 65, people with health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure, and those who are immuno-compromised. Even though most people in the U.S. have some level of immunity to COVID due to previous infections or vaccinations, the likelihood of getting COVID increases over time as new variants emerge and previous immunizations wane. The COVID vaccine has been shown to decrease the likelihood of serious illness as well as symptoms of “long COVID,” which include fatigue that could last months.

Inigo Hare ’24 is not sure whether he will get the new vaccine. In response to the question of whether he will get the new COVID booster, he said: “Maybe, I am not sure yet. But I certainly hope this will be a step forward for the eradication of this virus.” 

Pfizer and Moderna have listed their prices for the vaccine as $120 and $129, respectively. However, for most people, the vaccine is completely free, as the shots are widely covered by insurance and governmental programs such as the CDC’s Bridge Access Program. For more information on the updated COVID shots, check out the CDC Website.