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Updated COVID shots will be available in Minnesota next week

Doctors are urging people to not only get the updated vaccine, but to take precautions as COVID cases are on the rise.

MINNEAPOLIS — The newest COVID vaccine has already started to arrive in Minnesota, and pharmacies said shots will start to be administered to those six months and older next week. 

Doctors are urging people to not only get this updated vaccine, but take other precautions as COVID cases are on the rise.

Dr. Hannah Lichtsinn works in internal medicine and pediatrics with Hennepin Healthcare.

"We're really excited to have it available," said Lichtsinn. "It is focused in on the variants we're seeing right now and gives great protection against those variants."

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, the vaccines will still be free for most Americans under their insurance. 

For those who are uninsured, the CDC's Bridge Access Program provides free COVID-19 vaccines. 

"There are low-cost and free sites available," said Lichtsinn.

Walgreens will allow people to sign up for appointments and get the new shot starting Monday. 

CVS tells us some of its pharmacies already have the new vaccine and they expect all of its locations will have it within the next few days.

"Right now we are coming into the beginning of influenza flu season and so it is a great opportunity to get both vaccines at the same time," said Lichtsinn.

Lichtsinn said she would recommend folks take extra precautions since cases are up.

"As far as wearing masks, I think it's a very reasonable idea," she said. "Especially if you're going to be out in a crowded space during a busy time of day."

She said people were more relaxed about COVID, until this most recent spike. 

"We'd all taken a deep breath because there wasn't a lot of COVID out there in the community," said Lichtsinn. "And we are seeing an increase. I do expect a lot of people to be coming out to their doctor's offices and pharmacies to get this new vaccination."

If you have questions about the new vaccine and when you can get it, ask your doctor.

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