New COVID-19 vaccine arriving in Michigan

Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 10:28 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2023 at 9:21 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) are urging Americans to get an updated COVID-19 vaccine as the nation sees a rise in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.

You may know someone with COVID-19 right now, and maybe you’ve tried to get the new vaccine, but it’s not easy to find.

The new vaccine started arriving in Michigan this week, but because the global health emergency is over, supply isn’t as plentiful as it was during the pandemic.

“We will see this fall season, this cold season, increased cases of COVID-19,” said Dr. Nike Shoyinke, the Ingham County Health Department Medical Health Officer. “We now have a new COVID-19 vaccine that is available to some extent.”

Last week, the FDA and CDC gave the green light to the updated COVID-19 vaccine. Unfortunately, the supply isn’t keeping up with the demand. People who thought they had an appointment to get one get a cancellation notice, blaming a shipment delay.

“I think we’re still a little low in terms of shipping and where it’s going, but the plan is that hopefully, by early October, the vaccine will be available to everyone who wants it and needs it,” said Dr. Shoyinka.

Some patients expecting insurance to fully cover vaccine appointments and even COVID-19 testing have been surprised to learn they may have to pay out of pocket.

“During the pandemic declaration, the federal state authorities wanted us to be doing that, and the insurance companies were covering that, but after the end of the official pandemic declaration, we’re not able to do that anymore,” said Jon Baker, the Administrative Director of Laboratories at Sparrow.

The end of the pandemic has also created new changes when it comes to testing. In many cases, you need a doctor’s note to get a lab test.

“We no longer are able to provide orders and test people who haven’t seen their physicians before,” said Baker.

The Biden Administration announced Wednesday, starting Monday, it will start sending out free at-home COVID-19 tests by request. The link to request a test can be found here. People will be able to use that link to request four free tests.

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