CDC Recommends Updated COVID-19 Vaccine for Fall/Winter Virus Season
September 12, 2013
CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect against the potentially serious outcomes of COVID-19 illness this fall and winter. Updated COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna will be available later this week.
Vaccination remains the best protection against COVID-19-related hospitalization and death. Vaccination also reduces your chance of suffering the effects of Long COVID, which can develop during or following acute infection and last for an extended duration. If you have not received a COVID-19 vaccine in the past 2 months, get an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect yourself this fall and winter.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is always changing, and protection from COVID-19 vaccines declines over time. Receiving an updated COVID-19 vaccine can restore protection and provide enhanced protection against the variants currently responsible for most infections and hospitalizations in the United States. Last season, those who received a 2022-2023 COVID-19 vaccine saw greater protection against illness and hospitalization than those who did not receive a 2022-2023 vaccine. To date, hundreds of millions of people have safely received a COVID-19 vaccine under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history.
Most Americans can still get a COVID-19 vaccine for free. For people with health insurance, most plans will cover COVID-19 vaccine at no cost to you. People who don’t have health insurance or with health plans that do not cover the cost can get a free vaccine from their local health centers; state, local, tribal, or territorial health department; and pharmacies participating in the CDC’s Bridge Access Program. Children eligible for the Vaccines for Children program also may receive the vaccine from a provider enrolled in that program.
“We have more tools than ever to prevent the worst outcomes from COVID-19,” said Director Mandy Cohen, M.D., M.P.H. “CDC is now recommending updated COVID-19 vaccination for everyone 6 months and older to better protect you and your loved ones.”
This is the first fall and winter virus season where vaccines are available for the three viruses responsible for most hospitalizations – COVID-19, RSV, and flu. In addition to safe, updated COVID-19 vaccines, at-home tests for the virus can identify infection so you can protect your family, coworkers, and the general public. If you do get sick, talk to your doctor about proven, effective treatments that can reduce the risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death.
There are many ways your actions can help protect you, your household, and your community from severe illness from COVID-19. CDC’s COVID-19 hospital admission levels provide information about the amount of severe illness in the community where you are located to help you decide when to take action to protect yourself and others.
In addition to basic health and hygiene practices, like handwashing, CDC recommends some prevention actions at all COVID-19 hospital admission levels, which include: