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Five Things Adults 60+ Should Know About the Latest COVID-19 Shot

    • September 15, 2023
    • Wellness
  • Allison Tierney

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved new COVID-19 booster shots to help protect older adults against the virus this winter. Here is what you need to know.

New booster shot is now available.

Booster shots are given to adults who have already had at least one dose of the vaccine. Because the protection from a shot can go down over time, booster shots improve your immunity to the virus. These boosters are especially important for adults 60+ because they protect against new variations of the virus and will update your protection as we head into the winter months.

It is important to talk with your primary care provider about how the latest COVID booster fits into your care plan.

Older adults with other medical conditions will benefit the most from the new vaccine boosters.

Adults 65 and older who already have serious medical conditions like COPD, heart disease and cancer are more likely to get very sick or die from the COVID-19 virus. Booster shots are a good way to ensure that even if you do catch COVID, your case is much more likely to be mild. This means getting a booster shot can prevent hospitalization, the need for a ventilator, and serious long-lasting side effects from a COVID-19 infection. As you age you must stay up to date with these vaccinations to protect your lifestyle.

If you are an ArchWell Health Member – getting the vaccine in an ArchWell Health center will be covered by your insurance.

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, COVID shots will not be paid for directly by the U.S. government. But don’t worry – ArchWell Health members can receive the newest booster shot at no cost.

The boosters are expected to target the latest COVID variant.

Although hospitalizations for COVID-19 are relatively low, two new COVID strains (BA.2.86 and the latest Omicron off-shoot) have been making news because they have caused an uptick in hospital visits. The good news is doctors are confident these boosters will fight off these new variants and help lower the spread of the virus this winter.

High risk older adults should consider getting the COVID booster plus a Flu and RSV shot to stay out of the hospital this winter.

Last winter, older adults across the country were hospitalized with a mix of three illnesses set to make a comeback in the next few months: COVID, Flu and RSV. On their own, these infections and viruses put extreme strain on older adults’ lungs and heart. Combined they can become even more deadly.

The good news is for the first time 60 and older can be vaccinated to protect themselves against all three winter illnesses. RSV vaccines were previously only available for young children at risk of catching RSV, a respiratory sickness that impacts lung health and the ability to breathe well. But this year, safe and effective RSV vaccines will be available at ArchWell Health centers for high-risk older adults who are also at higher risk of death due to the infection. Seniors with serious heart and respiratory conditions or those that are immunocompromised, like those receiving cancer treatment, should talk with their primary care doctor about the RSV vaccine can keep them safe this winter.

If you have any questions regarding the vaccine ArchWell Health primary care providers are happy to discuss how the COVID-19 vaccine can support your personalized care plan.

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About the Author

Allison Tierney, Communications Manager

Allison Tierney works to promote ArchWell Health's services across the country. With years of experience in public policy and non-profit organizations, Tierney understands how difficult it can be for seniors to access reliable and trustworthy information about disease management, health insurance, nutrition and more. That's why she writes accessible posts that older adults and their caregivers can rely on.

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