Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash

Americans may be able to receive an updated Covid-19 vaccine as early as today after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday endorsed the shots for all Americans over 6 months old. 

The new shots from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech will hit markets just as the U.S. begins to enter the fall and winter respiratory virus season. The updated vaccines target the XBB.1.5 variant and are designed to reduce the severity of symptoms of infection and curb the risk of “long Covid.” While the XBB.1.5 is no longer the dominant variant, experts say the vaccines should still be effective at preventing severe infection from other circulating variants as well. 

Both CVS and Walgreens across the U.S. will have vaccines available in the coming days, but experts are worried that demand may be low. In the past year, only about 20% of adults received a booster shot. While some chalk it up to pandemic fatigue, others point to lower numbers as a reason for less concern. 

Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations reportedly are steadily rising, but the numbers are far below where they were at the height of the pandemic. Infections are not surging and hospitals are far from being overwhelmed like they were at the height of the pandemic. In addition, more than 95% of the population has some level of immunity already, whether from vaccination or previous infection, officials say

The shots are not funded by the federal government this time because the public health emergency expired in May 2023. The Covid vaccines will be commercialized like flu shots and other vaccines, putting the burden of ordering shots on hospitals, physician offices and pharmacies, and leaving the public on the hook for paying for it. 

In recent headlines:

CP NEWS: Surprise Charleston school board meeting was illegal, attorney says. Many are still left without answers after a Monday night special meeting of the Charleston County School District’s Board of Trustees sparked confusion and anger in dozens of community members who sat for nearly six hours, only to be told to go home.

CP NEWS: Match Hope fundraiser supports mental health in Charleston schools. Local nonprofit Charleston Hope will host its annual Match Hope fundraiser Sept. 14-23. The organization’s mission is to increase mental and behavioral health resources in local educational institutions.

Charleston saw its hottest August on record. So did 8 other Southern cities. Charleston cataloged its hottest August on record, according to the latest regional climate summary released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Sept. 8.

President of S.C. school librarian group resigns amid tensions. Tensions between Michelle Spires, president of the S.C. Association of School Librarians, resigned amid tensions with the state superintendent Ellen Weaver.

Charleston-area shopping center expansion includes hotel. A new mixed-use commercial development with a space set aside for a hotel, restaurant, retailers and medical offices is in the works for northern Mount Pleasant.

Charleston County proposes amendments to historic preservation ordinance. Residents in African American settlement communities shared their concerns about Charleston County’s proposed amendments to its Historic Preservation Ordinance.

Lowcountry summit addresses affordable housing crisis. Leaders say the Charleston area is in dire need of affordable housing. The problem led to a housing summit which was held Tuesday morning in North Charleston.

Summerville to launch drone program for public safety, town mapping. Summerville will be kicking off a drone program next week to help enhance public safety and collect more data for the town’s geographic information system.

  • To get dozens of South Carolina news stories every business day, contact the folks at SC Clips.

Love Best of Charleston?

Help the Charleston City Paper keep Best of Charleston going every year with a donation. Or sign up to become a member of the Charleston City Paper club.