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The Following Covid Booster is Approaching


Will Insurance Provide Coverage for the Vaccine?

The conclusion of the national Covid emergency has paved the way for a new coronavirus variant named EG.5 or “Eris” to rapidly circulate globally. Dr. Payal Patel, an infectious diseases physician at Intermountain Health in Salt Lake City, explains that EG.5 is a subvariant of omicron and is on the rise worldwide, including in the U.S. However, the World Health Organization currently assesses the variant as posing a low global public health risk.

Boosters specifically designed to counter these subvariants are expected to become available in the fall, between late September and early October. The matter of insurance coverage for these new boosters is contingent on individual insurance company decisions, according to Dr. Sorana Segal-Maurer, director of infectious diseases at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens. People obtaining vaccines from local pharmacies are advised to inquire about coverage from on-site pharmacists.

Employer decisions also play a role in coverage, and Dr. Patel hopes that employers recognize the value of ensuring coverage for Covid vaccines for their employees. Providing coverage not only safeguards employees but also contributes to increased workplace productivity.

Regarding the EG.5 variant, it does not exhibit greater severity compared to recent subvariants of omicron. The symptoms, which include fatigue, sore throat, runny nose, fever, muscle aches, and loss of taste and smell, remain consistent with those seen in earlier strains. Vaccination continues to be highly effective in protecting against severe disease, hospitalizations, and fatalities.

To safeguard against Covid and its variants, staying current with vaccinations is paramount. Hand hygiene remains essential, and individuals with medical vulnerabilities are encouraged to use masks, especially in crowded settings. Testing before interacting with high-risk individuals is advised. Overall, the situation differs from the circumstances of 2020, offering a more optimistic outlook.

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