Here’s how to get a new COVID-19 shot

This photo provided by Pfizer in September 2023 shows single-dose vials of the company's updated COVID vaccine for adults. U.S. regulators have approved updated COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, shots aimed at revving up protection this fall and winter. The Food and Drug Administration's decision Monday, Sept. 11, 2023 is part of a shift to treat fall COVID-19 vaccine updates much like getting a yearly flu shot.

On the heels of federal regulators approving updated COVID-19 vaccines last week, medical providers and retail pharmacies are in the midst of a mass rollout of shots.

“It’s super-important people receive the new vaccine because the virus mutates over time,” CVS Pharmacy Leader Atenea Gazdziak said.

“The second reason it’s important to revaccinate everyone is because the protection the vaccine offers wanes over time.”

Experts are also recommending getting a flu shot at the same time.

“Both vaccines are the safest way to reduce your risk of infection and of becoming very sick if you do get infected,” Cook County Department of Public Health Acting Commissioner Fikirte Wagaw said in a statement.

Here’s the latest on the new vaccines.

• Both CVS and Walgreens are accepting appointments for COVID-19 shots.

A Walgreens spokesman noted that “COVID-19 vaccines will continue to be available at no cost to the public. The cost will either be covered by insurance or government assistance programs, such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control Bridge Access Program.”

• The updated COVID-19 vaccine was developed to protect against the “Kraken” strain of COVID-19, XBB. 1.5, that emerged in the winter. It’s also expected to work well against current variants that are circulating.