Updated COVID-19 vaccines now available

Published 3:25 pm Monday, October 2, 2023

Amid the ongoing battle against COVID-19, the updated vaccines for the 2023-2024 period have been rolled out and are now available to the public. Individuals seeking to get vaccinated can find the nearest location offering the updated vaccine on the vaccines.gov website.

The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) is urging all individuals aged 6 months and older to receive the updated COVID-19 vaccines. While dosing recommendations vary by age, it is advised that healthy individuals aged 12 and older receive a single dose of the updated vaccine, regardless of their prior vaccination status.

In a recent statement, MSDH Interim State Epidemiologist Dr. Kathryn Taylor emphasized the importance of receiving both the COVID-19 and flu vaccines, especially as the flu season approaches. According to Dr. Taylor, “Vaccines provide the best protection against infection, hospitalization, or death from respiratory viruses like COVID-19 and influenza.” She further stressed the significance of getting vaccinated before the transmission rates escalate to ensure optimum protection against the virulent viruses.

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Starting Oct. 3, MSDH will extend the availability of the updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine to uninsured and underinsured individuals through two key programs: the CDC Bridge access program for adults and the Vaccines for Children program. Underinsured individuals, defined as those with insurance plans that do not cover the cost of the vaccine, are encouraged to schedule their vaccination appointments by calling 855-767-0170. On the other hand, individuals with comprehensive insurance coverage are directed to use the vaccines.gov website to locate the nearest vaccine providers.

The timely dissemination and administration of the updated vaccines are pivotal steps toward curbing the spread of COVID-19, as health authorities continue to advocate for widespread vaccination to protect communities and bolster public health.