COVID vaccine is still free, but with new rules on where to go

Published: Oct. 5, 2023 at 9:58 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The COVID vaccine is available now in Lubbock. We are not in a pandemic anymore, but a few things are different.

One thing is the same: this newest vaccine should not cost you a dime.

Katherine Wells, Director of the Lubbock Health Department, says, “Everybody should be able to get it for free. It’s just we have to have...more rules about where you need to go.”

She says the newest COVID-19 vaccine has moved into the private insurance market.

“Individuals that are insured should be able to get the COVID 19 vaccine through their insurance with no copay, the same way that you can typically get your flu shot every year,” Wells said.

Starting now, people with insurance will not go to the Lubbock Health Department for a COVID shot.

COVID vaccines given there will be reserved for the uninsured, at no charge, along with a few other places they could get their shot for free.

“The federal government has contracts with CVS, Walgreens and Walmart,” Wells said. “So, you can get your vaccine at no cost if you’re uninsured at one of those pharmacies, but make sure you call ahead and get that scheduled.”

COVID is still in our community. The health department says, on average, they know of 40 to 60 infections reported in Lubbock every day, with 10 to 15 people hospitalized here daily. The numbers are significantly lower than what we saw during the pandemic, but Wells says the numbers now are convincing enough that she believes the vaccine is worth the effort.

She says, “I feel it’s safe and effective, and it’s something that I will be giving my family.”

Wells says it’s important to understand that no vaccine is 100 percent effective. Even the measles vaccine which has been required for 40 years, works 95 percent of the time. She adds that like the measles shot, the COVID vaccine still provides some benefit to those who may end up getting the virus anyway.

Wells explains, “It’s going to reduce the likelihood of you getting the virus and then also reduce those severe symptoms and that’s really why they’re talking about making sure individuals that are high risk: older, immune compromised, with any of the COVID risk factors to really look at getting this new updated version of the COVID vaccine.”

With an announcement this week that the CDC will no longer print COVID vaccine cards, gone are the days where you had to show proof of a vaccine.

But Wells suggests it is a good idea to keep a record of your vaccine history. So bring the card for any vaccine to get it updated. Just know that whatever was stamped on your COVID card earlier has no affect on the new vaccine offered this year.