Q&A: Everything You Need to Know About Wisconsin’s New COVID Boosters

By Salina Heller

September 15, 2023

The state’s hospital admissions have been rising since July, according to the latest CDC data.

The severity of the COVID-19 pandemic has faded, but there are still thousands of hospitalizations and hundreds of deaths in the U.S. each week. Hospitalizations have been increasing since late summer, so the just-released booster shot comes at perfect time. Vaccines are the best way to not only protect yourself from getting COVID, but to prevent yourself from landing in the hospital if you do.

What should you know about the new vaccine?

The updated or bivalent COVID-19 shot boosts your immunity against the original virus, as well as providing protection against the latest variants, Omicron BA. 4 and BA. 5. Previously, boosters only provided protection against the original strain.  

RELATED: Covid Boosters Can’t Outpace New Mutations–Here’s Why They Still Work

Who should get the vaccine?

Everyone 6 months and up, according to the FDA.
Now, everyone 5 and up can receive a single dose, even if they’ve never had a prior COVID-19 shot. Younger children might need additional doses depending on their history of COVID-19 infections.

When will it be available?

Right now. This week, an advisory committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the updated vaccines, which then immediately became available.

Where can you get it?

Pharmacies, hospitals, and local health departments across the state, including CVS and Walgreens.  All locations are listed on vaccines.gov.

Click here to find one near you (or make an appointment to avoid any wait)!

How much does it cost?

Nothing! The list price is $120 to $130 per shot, but boosters are fully covered by insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, or–for the un- or under-insured– through a federal program.

What’s next?

Flu season! The triple threat of respiratory viruses including flu, RSV, and COVID-19 is expected to spread quickly this fall and winter in crowded classrooms, workplaces, holiday parties, and airports. 

MORE: How Durable is Your Immunity? Experts Offer COVID Outlook for Fall & Winter

Author

  • Salina Heller

    A former 15-year veteran of reporting local news for western Wisconsin TV and radio stations, Salina Heller also volunteers in community theater, helps organize the Chippewa Valley Air Show, and is kept busy by her daughter’s elementary school PTA meetings. She is a UW-Eau Claire alum.

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