New COVID-19 vaccine: When and where you can get the updated booster (2024)

Following approval from federal officials earlier this week, updated COVID-19 vaccines are already being rolled out across the country as cases of the virus begin to rise in many areas.

The newly-formulated doses may be available in some locations as soon as Wednesday, with appointments to get the new shots open at some pharmacies.

Watch NBC 5 Chicago news stream free, 24/7, wherever you are

As many are anxious to stay up to date with their vaccines as temperatures begin to get colder, here's a look at where and when you can get your updated booster shot.


Walgreens announced just moments after the CDC's announcement that it was already scheduling appointments for the new vaccine. Appointments can be made via the Illinois-based company's scheduling tool or by calling 1-800-WALGREENS. The pharmacy chain said earlier appointments could become available "as inventory arrives in stores."


CVS also announced Wednesday that the updated vaccine "is now available" at its pharmacy locations, with clinics and pharmacies expected to receive their first shipments Wednesday. Shipments are expected to continue on a "rolling basis throughout the week," with all locations having the new vaccine in stock by early next week, according to the company.

Appointments can be made at and via the pharmacy chain's app, but walk-ins will also be accepted as various locations receive doses. MinuteClinic locations will begin offering the new vaccine for those 18 months and older in the coming weeks.

“COVID-19 continues to impact communities across the country, so it’s important that we use the tools we have to stay healthy,” said Dr. Sree Chaguturu, executive vice president and chief medical officer for CVS Health. “Vaccination is the most effective way to do this. It’s vital that we keep up with vaccines to help control the continued spread of COVID-19. Through a simple vaccination, we can all help protect ourselves, our families and our communities.”

Feeling out of the loop? We'll catch you up on the Chicago news you need to know. Sign up for the weekly Chicago Catch-Up newsletter here.

The news comes as COVID cases and hospitalizations rising in the United States.

The new boosters have been formulated differently than previous iterations, targeting a specific strain of COVID that is responsible for nearly 90% of the subvariants currently in circulation in the United States.

"We have more tools than ever to prevent the worst outcomes from COVID-19," CDC Director Dr. Mandy Cohen said in a media statement. "CDC is now recommending updated COVID-19 vaccination for everyone 6 months and older to better protect you and your loved ones."

Here's what to know about the new shots:

Who is eligible?

The CDC has recommended that patients that are 6 months of age or older receive an updated booster shot against COVID-19.

The CDC’s recommendations also indicated that individuals under the age of 6, or those with weakened immune systems, may need multiple booster shots, but should do so after consultation with a physician.

The FDA’s recommendations mirror the CDC’s statements from this week.

What is new about this booster shot?

According to the CDC and FDA, the COVID-19 formulations being released by the major vaccine manufacturers will be “monovalent,” meaning they are specifically-designed to target descendants of the XBB.1.5 COVID variant.

That variant, itself a descendant of omicron, has already spawned multiple new subvariants, including EG.5 and FL.1.5.1, and the FDA and CDC both believe that the new vaccine will effectively target those strains as they start to spread in the population of the U.S.

According to the CDC, more than 90% of the COVID viruses circulating now are closely related to the XBB.1.5 strain.

Will the new shots cost anything?

Since the federal national emergency for COVID has ended, the cost of the shots will not be covered by the government, according to officials.

Both Pfizer and Moderna have said they are pricing vaccine doses at more than $100, but officials say the shots will still be free for most Americans that are covered by private insurance or Medicare.

For those who are not insured, the CDC says it is working with health departments, clinics and pharmacies to temporarily provide free shots at this time.

Who should get them?

Those individuals who haven’t received a booster since last fall, and who haven’t had a recent COVID infection, should get the new booster shots as soon as possible, according to experts.

Those who are unvaccinated can also get the booster without completing the multi-dose primary series beforehand, according to the new FDA guidance.

Those who have recently had COVID may wait approximately 90 days to maximize the effectiveness of the new booster, according to officials.

Within the next few weeks, several vaccines will become available to help keep you and your loved ones healthy over this fall and winter season, a time when viruses tend to hit the hardest, NBC Chicago's Lauren Petty reports.

What are the side effects?

According to the CDC and FDA, the side effects of the booster shots are similar to those of previous versions of the vaccine. They include headache, chills, fever, nausea, and pain or swelling of the injection site.

What are the dominant variants of the virus?

There are numerous omicron-offshoots currently in circulation, with EG.5 the most prevalent, responsible for an estimated 21.5% of COVID infections in the U.S.

FL.1.5.1 is close behind, with several XBB variants also becoming more widespread in recent weeks.

New COVID-19 vaccine: When and where you can get the updated booster (2024)


When did the latest COVID vaccine become available? ›

The 2023-2024 vaccine has been available since September 2023.

What is the latest COVID vaccine 2024? ›

CDC recommends the 2023–2024 updated COVID-19 vaccines—Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Novavax—to protect against serious illness from COVID-19. Everyone aged 5 years and older ‡ should get 1 dose of an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect against serious illness from COVID-19.

When did the bivalent booster come out? ›

The bivalent booster, which is no longer available, was introduced in the fall of 2022.

Which is better Pfizer or Moderna bivalent booster? ›

Pfizer: Is There a “Best” mRNA Vaccine? Both of the mRNA vaccines available in the US are highly effective against severe COVID-19, but recent studies suggest that Moderna's elicits a stronger immune response and might be better at preventing breakthrough infections.

When will the XBB vaccine be available? ›

Starting from 27 March 2024, eligible citizens aged 6 months or above who are still not vaccinated or have not yet completed initial doses, may choose to receive XBB vaccine as their initial vaccination for free, while persons belonging to high-risk priority groups may receive XBB vaccine as their initial doses and ...

What is the name of the new COVID vaccine? ›

The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine (2023-2024 Formula) includes a monovalent (single) component that corresponds to the Omicron variant XBB.

How often should you get the bivalent booster? ›

Everyone 6 months and older should receive a bivalent booster dose at least two months following their last monovalent dose.

How often should you have a COVID booster? ›

If you have had your primary vaccination course and you're aged: 75 years or older, you're recommended further doses of COVID-19 vaccine every 6 months. 18 – 74 years with severe immunocompromise, you're recommended further doses of COVID-19 vaccine every 12 months.

How long will the COVID vaccine last in your body? ›

How long does the COVID vaccine last? Studies suggest COVID vaccines are most effective in the first few months following your shot. That's why when health experts recommend boosters or updated doses, they're usually given three to four months after your last COVID shot.

Did the FDA approve the new COVID booster? ›

On Wednesday, the FDA authorized the Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine, Adjuvanted for use as a first booster dose to individuals 18 years of age and older for whom an FDA-authorized mRNA bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine is not accessible or clinically appropriate and to individuals 18 years of age and older who elect to ...

Will there be a second bivalent booster shot? ›

Those two groups are more likely than others to get severely ill or die from COVID-19—that's why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are offering a second bivalent booster shot.

Does Pfizer have the new COVID booster? ›

These updated vaccines replaced the original and bivalent vaccines that were available in previous years. Adults and kids ages 6 months and older are eligible to receive an updated Pfizer or Moderna booster shot. Adults and adolescents ages 12 years and older have the option to receive an updated Novavax shot instead.

Is Moderna or Pfizer booster better for seniors? ›

A booster shot with the Moderna vaccine offered older people better protection against COVID-19 if they had previously taken Pfizer jabs, researchers at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) have found.

What are the side effects of the latest COVID vaccine? ›

Most side effects of the COVID-19 vaccination are mild and should not last longer than a week, such as:
  • a sore arm from the injection.
  • feeling tired.
  • a headache.
  • feeling achy.
  • mild flu-like symptoms.

What's the difference between Pfizer and Pfizer Bivalent? ›

First introduced in December 2020, the original COVID mRNA vaccines from both Pfizer and Moderna protected against the original SARS-CoV-2 virus. They were replaced in September 2022 by “bivalent” vaccines, which targeted both the original virus and Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5.

When did Pfizer Covid shot come out? ›

Status: Pfizer's vaccine has been updated over time to target new virus variants. First introduced in December 2020, the original COVID mRNA vaccines from both Pfizer and Moderna protected against the original SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Is the COVID vaccine safe long term? ›

Side effects that don't go away after a few days are thought of as long term. Vaccines rarely cause any long-term side effects.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rev. Porsche Oberbrunner

Last Updated:

Views: 6128

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (73 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rev. Porsche Oberbrunner

Birthday: 1994-06-25

Address: Suite 153 582 Lubowitz Walks, Port Alfredoborough, IN 72879-2838

Phone: +128413562823324

Job: IT Strategist

Hobby: Video gaming, Basketball, Web surfing, Book restoration, Jogging, Shooting, Fishing

Introduction: My name is Rev. Porsche Oberbrunner, I am a zany, graceful, talented, witty, determined, shiny, enchanting person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.