PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- It's likely you know someone who has come down with COVID or maybe you have. Those six months old and up are being encouraged to get the new COVID booster.
New research from the Center for Disease Control says only 21% of U.S. adults have received COVID boosters.
The question now is how many will take advantage of the new updated shots that are now available.
Doctors say being up to date with the COVID vaccine is the best way to prevent the infection. The newest version provides the best coverage, and these updated shots come as cases are growing.
Gigi Hua is among the first to get the updated COVID-19 vaccine along with her annual flu shot.
"I don't wanna get COVID. I certainly don't wanna get the flu. So I'm getting both," Hua said.
Updated COVID-19 vaccines are rolling out as cases and hospitalizations continue to increase.
The latest CDC data shows more than 20,000 hospital admissions for COVID-19 in the first week of September. That's up 7.7% from the previous week.
"We've started our respiratory illness season and we are so busy trying to protect our neighborhood and our patients with all the immunizations," Helen Maser, pharmacy manager at Walgreens said.
In our region the CDC map shown above, which was last updated in May, shows about 20% of the population up to date on COVID shots.
The CDC expects the total number of hospitalizations this year from COVID, the flu and RSV to be similar to last year, higher than levels before the pandemic.
For the first time, vaccines for all three of the viruses are available this fall.
Maser reminds patients they can get more than one vaccine at their visit.
"Not only will it save you time, but it takes two weeks for the vaccines to start working. So you'll be fully covered by the time the season really hits," Maser said.
At 60 years old it's recommended that Zeba Rahman get the new RSV vaccine.
"I have elderly parents. Um, I have people who are immune-compromised in my family and I don't wanna bring it home anything, and I wanna do what I feel is responsible," Rahman said.
She also got her flu shot to do everything she can to keep herself and her loved ones healthy this winter.
The updated COVID-19 shots will be covered for most people through private insurance.
The uninsured can receive the new vaccine free of charge under the new federal bridge access program.
for more features.