GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — The FDA approved updated COVID-19 booster vaccines in mid-September this year. But with nationwide issues with distribution and respiratory illness season on the horizon, where can you get it?
Alli Howe, public information officer for Mesa County Public Health, tells WesternSlopeNow that the vaccine rollout is a little different this time around.
“This is our first year where the vaccine is privatized,” Howe explains. That means the federal government isn’t picking up the tab this time, putting the financial burden on providers – and patients – to pay for it.
But, Howe says, if you go to Mesa County’s public health clinic, they’ve got you covered.
“If folks come to the public health clinic for a vaccination, we do have low-cost options for folks who don’t have insurance or whose insurance doesn’t cover the full cost of the vaccine.”
There’s also the Bridge Access Program from the CDC, which allows you to get the vaccine for free if you’re uninsured or your insurance doesn’t foot the whole bill.
Right now, the only pharmacies in Mesa and Montrose Counties offering the new vaccine are Safeway, City Market, and Walgreens, with Walgreens being the only provider confirmed to be part of the Bridge Access Program.
With respiratory illness season bringing the threat of a potential ‘tripledemic’, COVID isn’t the only vaccine you should worry about.
“If you’re eligible for a COVID vaccine, a flu vaccine, or an RSV vaccine, it’s the best protection we have for the worst outcomes of the disease for ourselves and from spreading it to others.”
Mesa County is offering RSV vaccines for people over 60 years old, pregnant persons who are between 32 and 36 weeks pregnant, and infants. If you fit into any of these groups, Howe urges you to see your healthcare provider or pediatrician to schedule an appointment.
If you’re in need of an at-home COVID test, you can order 4 for free at covid.gov/tests.