How to identify new shot at CVS, Walgreens

Sep. 2, 2022Updated: Sep. 2, 2022 6:41 p.m.

COVID omicron booster: How to identify updated vaccine at CVS, Walgreens. A pedestrian walks past the Walgreens on the corner of Cesar Chavez Street and Mission Street on Friday, October 22, 2021, in San Francisco, Calif.Constanza Hevia H./Special to The Chronicle 2021

With the omicron-specific COVID-19 booster now available, how can you ensure that the booster you sign up for is the new one and not the old one?

While some pharmacy sites, like Walgreens, make it clear when you sign up for an appointment that they are offering the “updated” booster, others, like CVS, don’t specify.

But rest assured — any booster shot you receive now will be the new one, pharmacists confirmed.

When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the updated vaccine — called a bivalent vaccine — the agency also changed its authorization for the original vaccine, saying it can no longer be used as a booster for people 12 and older.

The original vaccine will still be used for people getting their initial vaccine doses, a CVS spokesperson confirmed.

As of Friday, CVS had booster appointments available in San Francisco for the afternoon, while Walgreens had booster appointments available starting next week.

Danielle Echeverria is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: [email protected] @DanielleEchev

Danielle Echeverria is a reporter for The Chronicle’s Engagement and Breaking News team. She recently completed her Master’s degree in journalism at Stanford University, where she won the Nicholas Roosevelt Environmental Journalism Award for her reporting and covered agriculture, climate change and worker safety. She previously interned The Chronicle on the Business desk, as well as at Big Local News, focusing on data journalism. She is originally from Bakersfield, California.

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