New Covid-19 vaccine available in Helena

Posted at 5:25 PM, Sep 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-28 19:25:50-04

HELENA — A new Covid-19 vaccine is beginning to roll out throughout the country. MTN spoke with a nurse supervisor over at Lewis and Clark Public Health to find out more.

“If the community gets these vaccines to protect themselves from illness, then you're protecting those who potentially can't get the vaccine. Or if they get the vaccine, they don't respond as well to it because of their immunocompromised conditions. So, it's really important to think about that too, about your loved ones,” says Lewis and Clark Public Health Nurse Supervisor, Shelly Maag.

The newest Covid-19 vaccine is now available to the general public. This new vaccine has been updated to include a monovalent component that helps to combat the Omicron variant XBB.1.5.

While Omicron and its subvariants have been the most predominant strains in the US, other variants such as the Alpha, Beta, and Delta have shown up throughout the past few years.

Since the onset of Covid-19 in the United States, there have been over 1.1 million recorded deaths. And as of June 2, over 660 million vaccine doses have been administered in the US.

Maag says that Lewis and Clark Public Health has not received their doses yet.

MTN News called various pharmacies such as Walgreens and CVS in Helena and was told that the Covid-19 vaccine is now available by appointment only.

Maag says that getting the vaccine is not only important for your health and safety but also for those around you.

“Number one, to protect your health, especially if you're older and especially if you have other health conditions, like conditions that affect your immune system. But even beyond that, your loved ones, to protect your loved ones. So, if you have other people that are around you that are elderly or have significant health issues, protecting yourself is going to protect them too,” says Maag.

According to the CDC, most Americans should be able to access this new vaccine for free either through insurance or providers participating in the CDC’s Bridge Access Program.