NJ Health Dept. Urges Updated Covid Shots And Flu Vaccines

The new 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccines recommended yesterday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for everyone ages 6 months and older will provide the most up-to-date protection against the virus and its variants as we move into the fall and winter holiday seasons. The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) continues to encourage everyone to stay up to date on all of their immunizations – including an annual flu shot and an RSV vaccine, if they are eligible – as the best way to stay healthy and to avoid serious illness and hospitalization.

The CDC’s action Tuesday follows recommendations from the agency’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and regulatory action by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“With rising cases, COVID-19 continues to remain a significant public health priority. This new vaccine provides updated protections and can be easily received at the same time as your annual flu shot,” said Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Kaitlan Baston. “The Department will continue to work with providers across the state to make sure everyone who wants the added protection of the updated COVID-19 shot can easily access it, especially the state’s vulnerable populations and those who are under- or uninsured.”

As part of their transition to the commercial market, the 2023-2024 COVID-19 Moderna and Pfizer vaccines will now be purchased, distributed, and administered just like any other vaccine, including the annual flu shot. The previous Moderna and Pfizer bivalent vaccines are no longer authorized for use.

The new vaccines are expected to be available in some locations in New Jersey by the end of the week and statewide in the coming weeks. To locate a vaccination provider, visit Vaccines.gov. New Jerseyans can expect vaccines to be available from sites like primary care providers, chain pharmacies, Federally Qualified Health Centers, and other health care institutions.

The vaccine will be available through the New Jersey Vaccines for Children Program, which serves those under 19 who are uninsured, underinsured, Medicaid-eligible or an Alaskan Native/American Indian.

Uninsured and underinsured adults 19 years of age and older will also be able to get vaccines at no cost through the federal Bridge Access Program. These Bridge-funded vaccines will be made available through the 317 Adult Vaccine Program to local health departments, federally qualified health centers and certain non-profit organizations. Pharmacies will also have Bridge-funded vaccines available for uninsured and underinsured adults.

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