New COVID-19 Vaccines Now Available

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October 2, 2023

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(LAUREL Md.)—Updated COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are available now in Prince George’s County according to the Centers for Disease Control and vaccines.gov

Anyone six months or older is eligible for the new vaccines, the only updated vaccines for 2023-2024 currently, according to a CDC press release. 

The news has been slow to spread in Maryland. Neither The Prince George’s (PG) County Health Department, nor the Maryland Department of Health COVID-19 vaccine website mention the updated vaccines.

The arrival of the new vaccines was met with mixed reactions. 

One Prince George’s resident planning on getting the vaccine fears “cases going back up” and everyone around her getting sick. 

“I live with my elderly grandmother so for her safety it’s best we should” take the vaccine said Jelyah Clarke, who was eagerly searching vaccines.gov for the nearest place to get the shot.

Resident Christopher Cole hesitates to get the vaccination. “I don’t know how my body would react to it, so that alone, is enough for me not to get it,” he said. 

Jovan Groves, a customer service employee in PG County, said, “My initial decision to get vaccinated was primarily influenced by potential employment requirements rather than personal health concerns.” 

Cole and Groves have decided not to get the updated COVID-19 vaccinations. Groves believes it benefits the general public. Cole, however, considers it only beneficial for people with underlying conditions. 

Because the  COVID-19 virus continues to change, newly formulated vaccines are needed. The updated vaccines are designed to prevent so-called “long COVID” and hospitalizations, whereas the 2022-2023 bivalent vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, provided protection against the original virus and the Omicron variants, according to the CDC COVID-19 press release page

Long COVID is the name for extended symptoms once someone has had the virus.  

Pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS, and Giant stock and administer the latest vaccines. Most  require patients to schedule their shot in advance using their website

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