Sat, 02 Dec 2023

ATLANTA, Georgia: This week, U.S. drugstore chains CVS Health and Walgreens Boots Alliance said that updated COVID-19 vaccines will be available at their stores as soon as this week.

Shots were already being delivered in some locations, including a Northwell Health facility in New York.

On September 12, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved the use of updated COVID-19 vaccines, which were specifically developed against the current circulating virus variants.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also approved an updated vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, and one made by Moderna for people aged 12 and over.

It also authorized the shots for emergency use in children aged six months to 11 years.

Walgreens said it had started taking appointments for the updated vaccines from September 11, while Rite Aid said appointments would be live later in the week.

CVS said some pharmacies had started receiving the new vaccines, but retail chain Walmart has not responded to requests for comment.

In May, the U.S. government ended the COVID-19 public health emergency status and handed over the responsibility for vaccinations to the private sector, but shots will still be free for most Americans with health insurance coverage.

The U.S. government also said that it was drafting a program to provide free vaccines to people without insurance.

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