The Philadelphia Health Department is encouraging residents to receive the new COVID-19 vaccine just after there was a slight uptick in COVID hospitalizations last month.
On Tuesday, the CDC issued a recommendation that everyone in the U.S. ages 6 months and older receive the newly approved COVID vaccine.
In response to the new recommendation, Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Cherly Bettigole stated everyone should get the updated vaccine especially people over the age of 65.
“We’ve had COVID vaccines for almost three years now, and they have saved countless lives in Philadelphia. Being up-to-date on your COVID vaccine is the best way to ensure that a case of COVID doesn’t turn into a severe case, a trip to the hospital, or even death,” Bettigole said. “This is especially true for those at high risk, including people who are older than 65, people who have chronic health conditions, smokers, and those who are overweight or obese. I strongly recommend that Philadelphians at high risk get their updated COVID vaccine as soon as possible.”
On Monday, the FDA approved the new formulation of the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is different from the previous boosters because it’s formulated against the omicron variant called XBB 1.5.
The Health Department said that the new vaccine will offer protection against the mix of variants that are circulating in Philadelphia and nationally.
The vaccine will soon be available at places such as pharmacies, doctor’s offices and clinics. Most major insurers are covering the new vaccine which means you can receive it for free.
It is recommended by national experts that people get both their flu shot and COVID vaccine at the same time, it has been found to be safe and effective.
For more information on COVID-19 in Philadelphia, you can visit the city’s COVID website here.