Why medical experts say the updated COVID-19 vaccine is as important as ever
The new COVID-19 vaccine is now available in Connecticut. One of the first places New Englanders could get the updated shot was at The Big E, which brought in medical professionals from around the country to help with its vaccination drive.
Josh Bose was one of them. He’s a pharmacist from Kentucky who spent several days at The Big E in West Springfield, Massachusetts, reminding folks why a COVID-19 vaccination should still be a priority.
"This XBB.1.5 variant, as it is circulating, it's shown to be more transmissible than previous variants," he said.
Bose said it's important to maintain vaccine efforts to prevent going back to the dark days of the pandemic, when hospitals were overrun with patients.
“We're trying to keep people from going into the hospital, from ending up on ventilators,” he said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months and older receive the new vaccine but Florida’s public health officials have saidthat only people over 65 should get the vaccine.
“Anytime there is a political element to healthcare decisions, I think people have a natural inclination to move to kind of the extremes at the sides,” Bose said.
But he says it is up to “healthcare providers to answer patients' questions and ameliorate their concerns and empower them to make informed decisions.”
He also added that he and his family will get the covid vaccine as well as the flu vaccine.
Covid vaccines, as well as flu and RSV vaccines, will be offered to the public at the Big E until Oct. 1 at a clinic in front of the New England Grange Building. Vaccines are offered free of charge, but people are encouraged to bring proof of insurance or a Medicare or Medicaid card.
The clinics will offer seasonal vaccines free of charge, however attendees are encouraged to bring proof of insurance, Medicare or Medicaid card.