Here’s where you can get the omicron COVID-19 boosters in Idaho

You can get the shot today, but you might have to wait if you want to choose your brand

By: - September 7, 2022 12:13 pm
Male nurse holding vial of Covid-19 vaccine and syringe

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off on the approval from the agency’s independent vaccine advisers that recommended an updated coronavirus vaccine booster this fall. (Getty Images)

For Idahoans who have received their initial round of COVID-19 vaccines, the omicron-targeting booster is here.

Where can you get it? The same places you usually get your annual flu shot. Major pharmacy chains such as Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid and Albertsons pharmacies are booking appointments and administering the booster dose. Same-day appointments are available.

But for now, brand-name options may be limited. Some pharmacies on Wednesday showed only appointments for Pfizer’s booster. Rite Aid showed limited openings for the other mRNA booster, made by Moderna. Pfizer has been first to ship its doses to pharmacies and health care providers ever since the first round of COVID-19 vaccines went out in December 2020.

That pharmacies are dominating the rollout isn’t the only similarity between the COVID-19 booster and flu shots. Every year, scientists develop an influenza vaccine based on predictions about which strains of flu virus will circulate in the U.S. in the upcoming flu season. The new, updated version of the COVID-19 vaccine targets the original coronavirus as well as the version currently circulating — and, scientists hope, the “bivalent” booster shot will remain effective as the omicron variant continues to morph in small ways.

No vaccines are 100% effective. The COVID-19 shots have been most successful when it comes to preventing severe disease, hospitalization and death.

Health experts recommend getting the annual flu shot this fall — ideally, before Halloween. It can be administered at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine.

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Audrey Dutton
Audrey Dutton

Audrey Dutton, senior investigative reporter, joined the Idaho Capital Sun after 10 years at the Idaho Statesman. Her favorite topics to cover include health care, business, consumer protection issues and white collar crime. Dutton hails from Twin Falls. She attended college at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, and received a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York City. Before coming home to Idaho, Dutton worked as a journalist in Minnesota, New York, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Dutton's work has earned dozens of state, regional and national awards for investigative reporting, health care and business reporting, data visualization and more.

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