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Posts Tagged ‘COVID Vaccine’

More Info on the Updated COVID-19 Vaccine. By Our Student Pharmacist, Jadelyn Cheng.

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In the season of flu and RSV, it’s time to start thinking about getting your updated COVID-19 vaccine.

You may have encountered the term “booster” in the past few months for the COVID vaccine. However, major health organizations are moving away from that term in efforts to emphasize that this is an “updated COVID vaccine.”

Just like we receive an updated flu vaccine every year to guard against the most common influenza strain, it’s likely that we will eventually move towards a schedule where people can anticipate receiving an updated COVID-19 vaccine annually to safeguard against the most common COVID strain of that year.

Updates + Efficacy

The 2023-2024 formulation of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are based on an omicron subvariant, XBB.1.5. They are still effective against the variants that are causing a majority of COVID cases in the United States at this time, which includes emerging strains such as EG.5 (Eris), FL.1.5.1 (Fornax), and BA.2.86 (Pirola).

Vaccination continues to be the safest and most effective way to achieve protection against current variants.


If you’ve received the COVID vaccine before: Everyone aged 5 and older should get one updated COVID-19 vaccine at least two months after getting the last dose of any COVID-19 vaccine. However, in special circumstances, someone is eligible for additional updated doses.

If you’ve never received any COVID vaccine before: The same guidelines still apply! You are considered up to date on your vaccinations after receiving one dose of the updated ’23-’24 vaccine. If you have recently had COVID, you may have some protection against severe disease and reinfection. However, getting the updated COVID-19 vaccine is still recommended three to six months after experiencing symptoms or testing positive.

If you are considering other vaccines at this time: The flu shot and COVID vaccines are entirely safe to receive at the same time. As for RSV, studies are ongoing since this is the first season with the RSV vaccine. However, it is still believed that you can receive the RSV and COVID-19 vaccines together. They can be given two weeks apart if you prefer to receive only one vaccine at a time.

View official recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.html 


COVID-19 vaccines were free for all Americans during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, which officially ended on May 11th, 2023. However, since vaccination is the most effective protection against severe disease, the updated COVID-19 vaccine should be covered under most private insurance and Medicare.

The CDC’s Bridge Access Program provides no-cost COVID-19 vaccines for uninsured or underinsured.

Visit http://www.vaccines.gov/ to find providers that offer these services. 

At Plain City Druggist and all three Happy Druggist locations, we will administer Moderna’s Spikevax (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) (2023-2024 Formula) to anyone 12 years and older. Walk-ins are always welcome!


CDC (2023). Use of COVID-19 Vaccines in the United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/clinical-considerations/covid-19-vaccines-us.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fvaccines%2Fcovid-19%2Finfo-by-product%2Fclinical-considerations.html

Rosen, A (2023). What to Know About the Updated COVID-19 Vaccine for Fall/Winter 2023. Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health. https://publichealth.jhu.edu/2023/what-to-know-about-the-updated-covid-19-vaccine-for-fall/winter-2023



What to Know About the Safety of the COVID-19 Vaccine. By Our Student Pharmacist, Sam Berens.


Safety of the COVID-19 vaccine has been an issue for many people. While I understand the fear, clinical trials were conducted that help evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. Many thousands of study participants of varying demographics went through the trial to approve the COVID-19 vaccine. Even after the vaccine went public, there are vaccine safety monitoring systems that help watch for side effects, and if there is an unexpected side effect seen, experts quickly study it to find out if it is an actual safety concern. The constant monitoring is there to ensure that the benefits of the vaccine continue to outweigh risks for the public.

There is also a new smartphone application called v-safe that helps to provide health check-ins after you receive the COVID-19 vaccination. This application allows you to quickly tell the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) if you have any side effects after getting the vaccine and depending on your answers, the CDC will promptly call you to get more information to keep you safe. V-safe also helps to remind you to get your second vaccine.

Reports have noted that some people have experienced allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine. These reactions will likely not happen to most people and you will be asked multiple questions about allergic reactions to vaccine-related substances before receiving the vaccine to help rule out potential reactions.

Vaccine image

If you do have an allergic reaction, there will be medical professionals with you to provide rapid medical care. Those who receive the vaccine will be monitored for at least 15 minutes and those who have had an immediate allergic reaction to a vaccine in the past will be monitored for at least 30 minutes to assure the safety of everyone.

There are also reports of several common side effects after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. None of these side effects are a concern to your health and safety. On the arm where you got the shot, there could be some pain and/or swelling near the injection site. To reduce pain and discomfort if this does happen to you, talk to us about using an over-the-counter pain reliever. It is also advised to apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area and/or exercise the arm.

Other side effects that could occur include:

  • fever
  • tiredness
  • headache

If you experience these side effects, it is recommended to drink plenty of fluids.  These side effects should go within a few days if they do happen, so there is no need to worry.

Overall, the COVID-19 vaccine should not cause you any more stress than your recommended annual flu shot. We are here to provide you optimal healthcare and encourage everyone to get the vaccine.

And remember, we need about 70-80% of the population to receive the vaccine in order to protect those that can not or choose not to receive the vaccine, so we hope you will do your part to protect our community.

References: CDC.gov