The Centers of Disease Control announced approval of a new COVID-19 vaccine with a recommendation for everyone 6 months and older to get an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect against potentially serious illness this fall and winter. The updated COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be available in Archuleta and LaPlata counties later this week or next.
To many the vaccine will be available at no cost, but people are encouraged to check with their healthcare provider or insurance carrier to be sure the new vaccine is covered. For people without health insurance or health plans that do not cover the cost, free vaccines will be available at a San Juan Basin Public Health clinic in Durango or Pagosa Springs or at pharmacy participating in the CDC’s Bridge Access Program.
Surveillance indicators show an increase in COVID-19 transmission in both Archuleta and La Plata counties. Hospitalization rates have increased in the past few weeks and SJBPH has received reports of COVID-19 transmission in schools and childcare facilities.
Vaccination remains the most effective defense against COVID-19-related hospitalization, death, and the lingering effects of long COVID. If you haven't received a COVID-19 vaccine in the past two months, consider getting an updated dose to safeguard yourself this fall and winter. Please remember to wash your hands frequently and stay home from school or work when sick.
COVID-19 rapid test kits and masks are available for free in the lobbies at the SJBPH Durango and Pagosa Springs offices.
In addition, everyone who is eligible should get the flu vaccine, especially adults 65 and older. Co-infections of COVID-19 and the flu can be severe. Vaccination is your best protection from respiratory viruses, and it’s important to get the flu vaccine before the height of flu season. Getting your flu vaccine in September or October is highly recommended.