Pharmacies across the U.S. have started administering new COVID-19 booster formulations from drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna.
The Food and Drug Administrationas several COVID variants spread and hospitalizations rise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the shots for everyone six months and older. The vaccine is similar to previously approved formulas but were updated to target the XBB variants that became prevalent last winter.
Spokespeople for Moderna and Pfizer said people who want to get booster shots can contact pharmacies and hospitals directly for an appointment.
“Moderna’s updated COVID-19 vaccine is being shipped to major retail pharmacies nationwide, and consumers can reach out to them directly to make their vaccination appointments,” a Moderna spokesperson said in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch.
Pfizer said it has been “manufacturing this season’s vaccine in advance of the FDA’s decision to ensure supply readiness ahead of the fall and winter season. Doses will be available in pharmacies, hospitals and clinics across the U.S.”
Here’s more information on where to get the latest COVID vaccine.
CVS on Wednesday announced that the newly authorized vaccines were in stock and available to consumers at its pharmacies.
“Pharmacies and retail medical clinics will begin receiving the new vaccine today and will continue to receive inventory on a rolling basis throughout the week,” the drugstore chain said in a statement.
CVS said it expects all pharmacy locations across the U.S. to have doses of the new vaccine in stock by early next week. You can make an appointment at CVS.com or simply got to the most convenient location. If pharmacies have the vaccine in stock, they’ll accept walk-ins.
A Rite-Aid spokesperson said it expects to have the updated COVID vaccine in all of its pharmacy locations “soon,” without specifying exactly when.
Customers can schedule appointments beginning Friday. Walk-ins will be permitted once the vaccine becomes available in its stores.
Walgreens told CBS MoneyWatch that it is now offering the jabs at locations nationwide. Consumers can schedule appointments immediately, with the first openings falling on Monday of next week.
Walgreens may add earlier appointments if vaccine supplies arrive earlier than expected. Doses of both brands’ formulas are currently being shipped to the company’s locations nationwide.
As with previous versions of the COVID-19 vaccine, the shots are available at no cost to consumers.
Because the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended the vaccine for children, the government is required to administer it to kids as well as commercially insured adults for free.
The federal government’s Bridge Access Program will also cover the cost of shots for the 25 million to 30 million uninsured adults in the U.S., according to KFF Health News. The program will pay for pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS to provide the shots for free, while Pfizer and Moderna will also donate a certain number of doses, according to the CDC.
Visit Vaccines.gov to identify pharmacies with available doses, as well as those participating in the Bridge Access Program.