Q & A: The 2023 COVID-19 Vaccine

You’ve probably heard about the new COVID-19 vaccine. But if you’re like most, you might have some questions or are feeling a little confused about why there is a new vaccine and whether you should get it. Below are answers to some commonly asked questions.


Q: What is the new vaccine, and how does it differ from previous COVID-19 vaccines?

A: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of two mRNA COVID-19 vaccines: The Spikevax (Moderna) and the Comirnaty (Pfizer) vaccine. The new vaccines were developed to build new immunity to variants that are currently circulating in our communities. Both versions of the new vaccine work by utilizing messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, instructing cells to produce a harmless piece of the virus’s spike protein, triggering an immune response to protect against future infection.


Q: How effective are the new vaccines in preventing COVID-19?

A: Clinical trials have demonstrated that both vaccines are highly effective in preventing COVID-19 infection. They have also shown robust protection against severe illness, hospitalization, and death.


Q: Should I get the new vaccine? If so, how do I go about it?

A: Getting vaccinated is a crucial step towards safeguarding your health and the health of your community. With multiple, closely related variants circulating in our community right now, receiving the updated vaccine will enhance immunity against current and emerging variants.  

The CDC recommends that essentially all adults who are not immunocompromised should get one dose of these updated 2023-2024 shots from Moderna or Pfizer, regardless of their prior COVID-19 vaccination history. 

Heartland Community Health Center currently has the Moderna Spikevax vaccine available for ages 12+. Call (785) 841-7297 to schedule an appointment.


Q: Is there any cost associated with receiving the new vaccine?

A: In most cases, COVID-19 vaccinations, including the Moderna Spikevax vaccine, are provided at no cost to individuals. Government funding and insurance coverage typically cover the expenses associated with vaccination. You can ask your Patient Service Representative at Heartland about any potential costs.


More questions about the vaccine? Check out the FDA’s Fact Sheet. 

Heartland participates in the Increase the Reach program. This Increase the Reach grant program is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $79,278,482 with 100 percent funded by the CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by the CDC/HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/. v10-01-2021