Sep 14, 2023 - COVID

New COVID boosters expected to arrive in Arkansas within days

Illustration of a pattern of syringes.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Updated COVID-19 booster shots will be available in the state within the next few days, a spokesperson for the Arkansas Department of Health told Axios.

Why it matters: The shots target the XBB.1.5 variant, which was the dominant strain circulating in the U.S. earlier this summer.

  • The shots will likely protect against the now-dominant EG.5 variant and another newer strain, FL.1.5.1, both of which are XBB descendants, Axios' Jason Millman writes.

Context: Like the seasonal flu shot, COVID vaccines are an annual thing now. The CDC recommends them for everyone 6 months and older.

Yes, but: COVID vaccines are no longer fully covered by the federal government. Insurance will likely cover it, and those without coverage can get vaccinated for free at any state Health Department county unit.

  • NWA has units in Fayetteville, Rogers and Siloam Springs.

Flu and RSV shots

The best time to get a flu shot is September and October. People eligible for RSV shots should start getting them now, Health Department spokesperson Danyelle McNeill told Axios.

Details: The CDC recommends RSV vaccination for people 60 and older who are at highest risk for hospitalization, including those with chronic health conditions like heart disease or who live in long-term care facilities.

  • The agency also recommends the vaccines for babies up to 19 months old.

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