New COVID-19 vaccine on its way to Huntsville pharmacies, hospitals

WAFF 48's Claudia Peppenhorst reporting
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 5:50 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) -Updated COVID vaccines are making their way into Huntsville. This time, the vaccine will target COVID strains descended from the Omicron variant which are currently causing the most illnesses nationwide.

“COVID is here to stay. We [have to] learn to live with it, move on, and enjoy our lives,” said Huntsville Hospital President Tracy Doughty.

Doughty said that exact reason is why it’s important for people to stay up to date with their COVID vaccinations.

After the CDC recommended the updated vaccine last week, pharmacies, clinics and hospitals were able to order them. Many of the local clinics are expecting their shipment any day now.

Doughty said once Huntsville Hospital receives its shipment, it will be readily available for employees, physicians and patients. But there is no need to fret if you are looking for the shot.

“We think for the general population there will be plenty of vaccines in the community to get the normal means: health departments, big box retail stores, doctor offices,” Doughty said. “So at this point we don’t plan on having a large scale, public vaccine station unless there is one necessary.”

Dr. Wes Stubblefield with the Alabama Department of Public Health said most insurance companies will cover the cost of the vaccine. But if you are paying out of pocket, expect to pay around $130 for a dose.

He added that the vaccine is recommended for anyone who is 6 months or older.

“What we have seen is increases in hospitalizations, increase in percent positivity of test being reported to the CDC and this new vaccine can help get that immunity back up against some of these newer mutated strands,” Stubblefield said.

Some CVS and Walgreens stores in Huntsville are already offering the new vaccine and are currently taking appointments.

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