MINNEAPOLIS — The updated COVID-19 vaccine has already started to roll out at pharmacies across Minnesota.
This comes as hospitals see an increase in COVID patients, which some doctors fear may get worse as we head into the fall and winter illness season.
"This couldn't have come a moment sooner," said Dr. Hannah Lichtsinn.
Dr. Lichtsinn works in internal medicine and pediatrics at Hennepin Healthcare. She encourages everyone to get the vaccine, which is effective against the new variant, as soon as possible.
"This vaccine will really boost all of our immunity, especially towards the versions of the virus that are out there now," Lichtsinn said.
The CDC recommends it for anyone over 6 months of age. People can get their flu shot at the same time, though Dr. Lichtsinn says that vaccine isn't quite as urgent.
"I think we should all anticipate getting a COVID vaccine every year for at least the near future," she said.
This is the first time the vaccine won't be free for everyone. That being said, most health insurance plans, as well as Medicaid and Medicare, are expected to cover the shot. Those without insurance can still findat places like community health centers or vaccination events.
"Listen, no one, I have never met a single person who loves getting vaccines, loves getting shots," Lichtsinn said. "But it's much better than the alternative of getting really sick."
As we say goodbye to summer, Dr. Lichsinn says to consider taking precautions as we head into fall.
"I do think that wearing a mask in crowded places is starting to make more sense again," she said. "But outside or uncrowded indoor environments, I think are still quite safe."
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