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Which Vaccination Will You Get Against COVID This Season?

In the fall of 2023, you can choose the vaccination you get–from Pfizer, Moderna or Novavax. All should lower your chance of hospitalization.

Public health authorities are urging Americans to get vaccinated against an expected winter uptick of COVID infections. All three vaccines available this fall target the XBB variant that dominated when the makers started production. XBB is no longer the leading COVID variant, but experts expect each vaccination to protect people against current strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Unfortunately, we have very little data on actual effectiveness.

Novavax Vaccination Is New This Season:

In addition to Pfizer and Moderna, the Novavax vaccine has now been approved. It uses different technology from Pfizer or Moderna. Instead of relying on mRNA, it is based on proteins like much older vaccines have been. So far this fall, more than 7 million American adults have sought a COVID vaccination. That is far fewer than the millions public health experts hope will get vaccinated.

Novavax is authorized for individuals at least 12 years old. Pfizer and Moderna each offer a separate vaccination for children as well as immunizations for adults. Pharmacy chains and stores like Costco, Publix, Giant and Stop and Shop are offering the shots.

The cost of the various vaccines are roughly comparable, and health insurance generally covers it. People without health insurance may get vaccinated at their local health department or at a pharmacy in the CDC’s Bridge Access Program. This program is intended to reduce barriers to immunization through the end of 2024.

According to the CDC,

“Vaccination remains the best protection against COVID-19-related hospitalization and death. Vaccination also reduces your chance of suffering the effects of Long COVID, which can develop during or following acute infection and last for an extended duration.”

If you like, tell us which vaccine you chose and why in the comments below.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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