SAN DIEGO — Updated vaccines to combat new strains of COVID-19 are starting to become available for residents across San Diego County.
The new monovalent boosters, which were designed to more closely target the XBB lineage of the Omicron variant, were approved for distribution earlier this month. The shots replace the former bivalent booster shot that was in circulation over the last year.
This comes as COVID cases remain elevated above lows seen during the summer months. In San Diego, as many as 3,234 confirmed positive cases were reported since the beginning of September, according to data from the county.
“This new vaccine is a welcome resource to our ongoing COVID-19 prevention efforts, especially as we enter the fall and winter seasons when cases traditionally increase,” said San Diego County public health officer Dr. Wilma Wooten. “As virus remains prevalent in our community, I encourage everyone eligible to get the updated vaccine.”
Health officials recommended people get up to date on COVID shots. For those ages five and up, that means receiving one of the updated doses. Children from 6 months to 4 years old are also encouraged to get all recommended doses, including one updated shot.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the new vaccine will provide renewed protection against severe illness, hospitalization and death for those who contract COVID. It will also help minimize symptoms for people who become infected with the virus.
Here are some of the ways to find one of the updated vaccines near you:
— Contact your healthcare provider to make an appointment for the updated COVID vaccine.
— State’s MyTurn website: Visit MyTurn.ca.gov, to schedule an appointment for the updated vaccine, as well as the flu and Mpox immunizations. MyTurn can also be used to find walk-in clinics in your area.
— County Public Health Centers: Visit one of the six San Diego County Public Health Center locations for a no-charge immunization (available only for those who are uninsured)
— CVS Pharmacies: San Diego CVS locations still are offering free COVID vaccines and booster shots. To schedule either of the immunizations, you can visit the CVS website.
— Rite Aid Pharmacies: Schedule an appointment at a Rite Aid near you for a free COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots. Information is available on the Rite Aid website.
— San Diego County residents who are homebound and would like to get their shot at home can call 2-1-1 for more information about how to receive the updated COVID booster or flu vaccine.
More information on the updated COVID vaccine in San Diego County can be found here.
Along with the vaccine, health officials encourage people to take a number of personal actions to protect themselves and limit the spread of COVID. These include:
- Stay home if sick.
- Seek treatment from your doctor immediately after testing positive. Paxlovid and other treatments are very effective and work best if started promptly.
- Consider wearing a mask in public places, especially in crowded or poorly ventilated spaces.
- Wash your hands and practice good hygiene.
- Cover your cough or sneeze.