'A lot of good that can come': Medical experts recommend Covid-19 booster, pharmacies prepare for distribution

NOW: ’A lot of good that can come’: Medical experts recommend Covid-19 booster, pharmacies prepare for distribution

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The FDA's approval of a new Covid-19 update for booster produced by Pfizer and Moderna has prompted the CDC to recommend updated vaccines for everyone 6-months and older.

"They're targeted against the spike protein again, but the spike protein of one of the Omicron subvariants that was in our communities a couple of months ago," explained Dr. Bill Hartman, principal investigator for UW Health's Covid Clinical Trials. "This particular variant, though, has a spike protein that's very much related to several of the emerging variants that are happening right now. We think there's going to be very good, for us, reactivity with these new variants, and so these new boosters are going to be very effective against severe diseases, hospitalization against any of these emerging variants that are around the world right now."

As has been the case with past vaccine distribution, Dr. Hartman stressed the importance for the elderly for those who are immunocompromised to receive the updated vaccine, however, he encourages anyone who wants extra protection against Covid-19 to get the shot.

"For anybody who wants to get one of these vaccines, they're now going to be available for people," Dr. Hartman explained, speaking about the benefits of the vaccine. "Decreases hospitalization and severe disease. Also, decreases the incidents of long covid and so there's a lot of good that can come from getting these vaccines."

Providers like Walgreens and CVS say that they are currently receiving shipments of the updated vaccine, with availability expected in stores across the nation by early next week. Both pharmacies are currently booking appointments.

For those looking to utilize their local, hometown pharmacies, the wait could be a bit longer.

"We would love to start making appointments and getting people in here and getting them vaccinated, but right now, I don't know when the Covid-19 vaccine will be able to be delivered here," said Michael Vineburg, owner of Port Family Pharmacy in Port Washington. "We're hoping by the end of this month."

Vineburg says customers have been calling to inquire about vaccine availability, both for the flu and Covid-19. He says the key right now is patience as he and his staff continue to communicate with customers.

"We're trying our best to make sure that everybody gets what they need," Vineburg said. "I think just staying on top of that communication and being open and honest with everyone will keep, hopefully, keep those people coming back here."

Along with vaccines, Dr. Hartman stressed the importance of basic hygiene practices to help keep you and your family healthy.

"Doing things like just washing our hands and social distancing, staying home if we're sick, testing," Dr. Hartman said. "All of these things help us to keep the viruses somewhat contained, or these viruses somewhat contained, so we can go ahead and live our lives without having too much interruption."

Those looking to set up an appointment with Walgreens or CVS can visit their respective websites.

More information about Port Family Pharmacy can be found here.

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