The Updated COVID-19 Vaccine is Here

Don’t call it a booster. Think of the new COVID-19 vaccine as an updated formula akin to an annual flu vaccine, which targets whatever is circulating that season. The new COVID vaccines, manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Novavax, are designed to protect against recent variants of SARS-CoV-2—namely, XBB and other Omicron spinoffs, including EG.5. They’re monovalent vaccines, meaning that they contain one strain of the virus, not two. 

See answers to your vaccine FAQs, below: 

When will the new vaccine be available?  

As of mid-September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that the new vaccines are now available at your primary care doctor’s office or retail pharmacy. You may also visit to find a vaccination site near you.

What is the main benefit of the new vaccine? 

Vaccines don’t completely prevent infection, but they can keep you from developing severe disease.  

Who should receive the latest doses? 

According to the new guidance from the CDC: 

  • Everyone age 5 and up should get 1 dose of the updated Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. It doesn’t matter which manufacturer made your previous dose.  
  • Moderately or severely immunocompromised patients may get additional doses of the updated vaccine. Please discuss your need for additional updated doses with your health-care provider. 
  • Children between 6 months and 4 years old, depending on their vaccination status, will need multiple doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, including at least 1 dose of the updated vaccine this fall. 
  • Novavax’s updated COVID-19 vaccine is currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use authorization in individuals aged 12 and older. 

Being up to date on your COVID vaccination is particularly important for immunocompromised people and those over 65. For those younger than 65 without major health problems, the benefit of getting the new vaccine is that if you get COVID, you’ll be less sick, and you’ll be sick for a shorter period of time.  

When should I get my shot? 

Says NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan, consider getting the new vaccine if you’re more than 6 months out from your last dose.  

Another factor is whether you’ve recently had COVID—a possibility as the number of cases continues to increase. The CDC recommends that you wait to get vaccinated until your isolation period ends. 

Where can I get vaccinated in New York City? 

New Yorkers can make an appointment to receive the new COVID vaccine at the NYC Vaccine Finder website here. 

If your previous vaccine doses were given outside of Weill Cornell Medicine or NewYork-Presbyterian, please upload your proof of vaccination to your Connect account so that we can offer you the new annual shot. 

What should I bring to my appointment?

New Yorkers are encouraged to bring their CDC COVID-19 vaccination card when they go to get their new vaccine so that they’ll have a record of their COVID vaccination history. 

Can I schedule my flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine on the same day? 

Yes, it’s safe to go for both shots at the same time. 

What about the recently approved vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)? 

People over age 60 and women in the late stages of pregnancy can get the RSV vaccine. However, as there are no studies yet showing that it’s safe to get all 3 vaccines at the same time, it would be prudent to wait 2 to 4 weeks after receiving the other 2 vaccines before getting your RSV shot. 

How can I protect myself in the meantime? 

  • Masking continues to be one of the most effective ways to prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2, as well as pathogens that cause other respiratory illnesses.   
  • People with compromised immune systems due to cancer or other diseases or due to taking immunosuppressive medications should make sure to wear a mask, especially in crowded spaces.  
  • Frequent hand-washing is an indispensable practice for avoiding viral and bacterial infections.  
  • Stay home if you’re sick.  
  • Stay up-to-date with your vaccines, including the new COVID-19 shot this fall.   
  • If you do develop COVID-19 and you’re at increased risk for developing severe disease (because of older age, pregnancy, immunocompromise, cancer or other medical conditions), consult with your provider to discuss taking an antiviral medication no more than five days after the onset of symptoms. That’s the best way to reduce the risk of progression to serious disease. 

To make an appointment for a consultation with your primary care physician at Weill Cornell Medicine, call 646-962-8000, log in to Connect or  find a provider. If you have recently tested positive for COVID-19, you may be asked to schedule a virtual visit appointment. You may also visit to find a vaccine site close to where you live.