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Here’s what you need to know about the next COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Sabine Martin

Arizona Republic

The most dominant COVID-19 variant, called KP.3, is growing in Arizona and across the country, but a new vaccine to confront its spread is set to roll out in the fall.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new guidance released last month recommends people get the updated COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot to curb illness this fall and winter.  

The SARS-CoV-2 virus variant is on the rise in the U.S. and was detected in Arizona. Maricopa County Public Health officials also noted an increase in the region. The CDC reported an 18% hike in emergency room visits for COVID-19 based on data collected from June 8-29. Hospitalizations also increased 13% during the same time frame.  

Here’s what you need to know about the updated COVID-19 vaccine being offered in the coming months.

When should I get my next COVID-19 vaccine shot?  

Those at risk need to keep up to date with their vaccines, said Nick Staab, assistant medical director for Maricopa County Department of Public Health.  

“The manufacturers have already turned over their manufacturing and are starting to produce that vaccine, so there’s limited supply of the 2023-24 vaccine,” he said.

He added that everyone should discuss their risk with their health care provider to see if they should wait to get the upcoming vaccine this fall instead of receiving the current booster right before its launch.

The CDC still recommends the most recent 2023-24 vaccine for older and immunocompromised individuals. People 65 years and older who received one dose of the 2023-24 COVID-19 vaccine should receive a second dose at least four months later. 

But once the updated vaccine is released, those older than six months should get the updated 2024-25 COVID-19 vaccine with a flu shot, the CDC says.

“If you’re sick, stay home, stay away from others,” Staab said. “If you are high-risk, and you develop symptoms, go out, take a COVID-19 test, because the sooner that you find out that it’s COVID-19 the best our antivirals will respond to prevent severe infection.”  

The new COVID-19 vaccine will be available this fall from manufacturers Moderna, Novavax and Pfizer.  

Andrew Carroll, a family medicine physician in Chandler, said it could be worth it to wait to get the new COVID-19 shot if you don’t have any preexisting health issues.  

“Ideally, you don’t get sick before that,” Carroll said. “If you do get sick with something that feels like the flu or maybe COVID-19 that you’ve had in the past, make sure you’re testing yourself.”  

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can also help reduce long COVID-19 symptoms, the CDC says in its guidance

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