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COVID vaccines: Where will they be available, and how much will they cost?

For most people, the new vaccines will be free of charge.

SAN ANTONIO — The latest COVID vaccine is now landing in pharmacies across South Texas, after receiving federal approval earlier this week. But where can you get them and how much will they cost? 

One very important thing to mention: This is not a booster, but a new vaccine. Think of it like the flu, which changes every year to cover the different circulating strains. This new COVID vaccine covers the dominant strain circulating right now. 

"One of the best ways to protect yourself from getting COVID infection or severe outcomes like ending up in the hospital or developing long COVID is to get this new COVID vaccine," said Dr. Jason Bowling, an infectious disease specialist with University Health and a professor of infectious diseases with UT Health San Antonio. 

So where can you get the vaccine? Most pharmacies in our region already have them, or will be getting them very soon, including University Health. 

"We have preordered the new COVID vaccine and we anticipate delivery next week or the following week. And then we will be offering it at all of our retail pharmacies," said Josefa Benedetti, pharmacy executive director with University Health. 

Metro Health will be offering the new and improved vaccines in the coming days as well. 

"Metro Health continues to work with community agencies to host pop-up vaccine clinics on a weekly basis and offer the most updated vaccines," a spokesperson said, adding that those seeking vaccines won't need to make an appointment beforehand. 

Dr. Timothy Morrison, a district leader and pharmacist with CVS Pharmacy in Texas, said his company deploys two models of vaccine distribution. 

"Our MinuteClinic will do ages 18 months and up, and then at our standard stores our pharmacist team will be able to do ages 5 and up," Morrison said. 

Walgreens says you can get them there too, and like most other pharmacies should be free of charge. 

In a statement they told us, "The cost will either be covered by insurance or government assistance programs, such as the CDC's Bridge Access Program," Walgreens officials said. "The CDC's Bridge Access Program will provide free access to COVID-19 vaccines to uninsured and underinsured adults."

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