The Philadelphia Health Department is urging residents to get vaccinated against the coronavirus in response to a slight increase in hospitalizations. The CDC has recently recommended that everyone in the US aged six months and older should receive the newly approved coronavirus vaccine. Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Cherry Betigall emphasized that it is especially important for individuals aged 65 and older to receive the latest vaccine. Dr. Betigall stated that COVID-19 vaccines have been saving lives in Philadelphia and getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death. High-risk individuals, such as those over the age of 65, people with chronic health conditions, smokers, and those who are overweight or obese, are strongly encouraged to receive the latest vaccine as soon as possible.
In response to the CDC recommendations, the FDA has approved a new formulation of a COVID-19 vaccine that targets the Omicron variant known as XBB 1.5. This new vaccine provides protection against a combination of variants circulating not only in Philadelphia but also across the nation. It will soon be available at various healthcare locations, including pharmacies, clinics, and doctor’s offices. Most major insurance companies cover the cost of the vaccine, allowing individuals to receive it for free. National experts suggest getting both the flu shot and the coronavirus vaccine simultaneously, as studies have shown it to be safe and effective. For more detailed information about COVID-19 in Philadelphia, residents can visit the city’s coronavirus website.