Sep 18, 2023 - News

New COVID-19 vaccines coming to San Diego this week

Illustration of a syringe and glass medicine bottle with a post-it note attached that says "to do"

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Updated COVID vaccines should be available for San Diegans starting this week.

Catch up quick: Last week, San Diego County joined the CDC in recommending the newly FDA-approved Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for anyone ages 6 months and older.

  • The new shots are expected to target circulating strains, including the EG.5, or Eris, strain, which the CDC said accounted for 24.5% of cases as of Sept. 16, as well as a newer variant, FL.1.5.1, dubbed Fornax, which accounted for 13.7% of U.S. infections.

Why it matters: COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have been rising across California and San Diego County since July, county health data shows. New strains are driving the rapid spread.

  • These strains are less deadly than previous ones, but contribute to the continued threat of long COVID.

What to know: San Diego County residents should contact their health care provider or use the state's MyTurn website to find a walk-in clinic or make a vaccine appointment.

  • CVS and Walgreens also expect to have the updated shots available at all pharmacies as early as today.

Of note: Most people with private insurance and those enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid should be able to get the new shots at no-cost.

Yes, but: The federal government is no longer fully covering the vaccine, so experts say it could be tougher for people without insurance to get the shots for free, Axios' Maya Goldman and Jason Millman report.

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