By Layla Hussein
Two new vaccination shots, developed from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, have been approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration in response to the global uptick in COVID transmissions.
Though the global pandemic of the coronavirus lasted for more than three years, active COVID-19 transmission is still happening, with some parts of the United States seeing a rise in COVID cases. The good news is that we are much better able to respond to this uptick and manage spikes compared to three years ago.
People nationwide can now access updated vaccines in local pharmacies to protect themselves against new variants. The recent uptick also coincides with flu season – but do not fret. It is safe and easy to get your COVID-19 booster and flu shot simultaneously, with no out-of-pocket costs.
Anyone 6 months or older can receive the updated vaccine in their local pharmacy.
GLAAD research shows LGBTQ people were disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and had a strong turnout for the first COVID-19 vaccines despite years of medical mistrust, especially among LGBTQ and BIPOC folx.
“With the holiday season around the corner, we strongly encourage every member of the LGBTQ community to get their updated COVID-19 vaccine,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD.
“We know the pandemic may appear to be behind us, but COVID-19 is here to stay. Infection rates are ticking up and are expected to increase. The LGBTQ community is no stranger to being disproportionately impacted by health crises, but we have a free vaccine available to help keep our community safe. Let’s continue to protect ourselves and each other by getting boosted.”
Though COVID-19 deaths have slowed over the past year, hospitalizations have continued. One in five American adults reported experiencing ‘long COVID,’ or lingering symptoms such as fatigue, coughing, or chest pain, lasting three or more months after first contracting the virus.
Even if you are not high-risk, getting vaccinated helps yourself and your community.
Find COVID and flu vaccines near you at vaccines.gov (including no-cost options for uninsured patients).