CDC recommends updated COVID-19 vaccines for Kansans as fall approaches

Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 9:48 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The CDC has recommended that Kansans get updated COVID-19 vaccines as the fall and winter season of illness approaches.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Tuesday, Sept. 12, that it recommends everyone 6 months and older to get an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect against serious outcomes of the illness this fall and winter. Updated vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna will be available later this week.

CDC noted that vaccination remains the best protection against COVID-related hospitalization and death. Vaccinations also reduce the chance of suffering from long-term COVID, which can develop during or after acute infection and last for an extended period of time.

If Kansans have not received a COVID-19 vaccine in the past two months, the CDC said they should get an updated vaccine when they are rolled out to protect themselves this fall and winter.

Health officials indicated that COVID is ever-changing and protection from vaccines declines over time. An updated vaccine can restore protection and provide enhanced protection against variants.

Last season, the CDC said those who received an updated vaccine saw greater protection against illness and hospitalization than those who did not. To date, hundreds of millions have safely received the vaccine under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history.

The agency also reminded Kansans that most can still get a vaccine for free. For those with health insurance, most plans will cover the vaccine at no cost. Those who do not have health insurance or with health plans that do not cover the cost can get one for free from a local health center. Children eligible for the Vaccines for Children program can also get vaccines from a provider enrolled in that program.

“We have more tools than ever to prevent the worst outcomes from COVID-19,” said Director Mandy Cohen, M.D., M.P.H. “CDC is now recommending updated COVID-19 vaccination for everyone 6 months and older to better protect you and your loved ones.”

The CDC noted this is the first fall and winter virus season where vaccines are available for the three viruses responsible for most hospitalizations - COVID, RSV and the flu. Additionally, at-home tests can help identify infection. If Kansans do get sick, they should talk to their doctors about proven and effective treatments to reduce severe illness, hospitalization and death.

For more information about updated COVID-19 vaccines, click HERE.