WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment gave the green light Thursday for a new COVID-19 vaccine to be administered. The Sedgwick County Health Department says even if you’ve had COVID-19 recently, this new shot is a better defense against new variants that are currently spreading.

The shots are available as soon as Monday at Walgreens. The county will have them for free, regardless of insurance coverage, starting on Sept. 25. 

The Director of the SCHD, Adrienne Byrne, says you can get your COVID-19 and flu shots at the same visit. 

She says contracting COVID-19 used to mean having immunity against the virus, but not anymore.

“If we had COVID, we’d be protected for three months. Well, that doesn’t seem to be the case for the most part now,” said Byrne. 

The new vaccine aims at giving protection against the two variants that make up most current COVID-19 cases, EG5 and XBB. 

“Any vaccine people had yesterday is supposed to be non-used and off the shelf because the updated vaccine that is coming will provide people with even more protection,” said Byrne. 

The fall can mean a season of sickness, something the health department wants to prevent. Federal funds allow the department to offer both shots for no cost. People with symptoms can also get free at-home COVID-19 tests. 

At GraceMed, they work on a sliding fee scale to provide vaccines and tests. 

“We can do it through an office visit. We also still have drive-up capabilities still available to patients,” said the Chief Medical Doctor of GraceMed, Julie Elder. 

The shot is recommended for all who are six months of age or older. People can begin scheduling appointments for both vaccines with the county by calling the number 316-660-7300.