ST. LOUIS – More than three years after the COVID-19 pandemic landed in the United States, a new vaccine has become available.

“A very famous St. Louisan, Yogi Berra, said years ago, ‘It ain’t over until it’s over,’” said Dr. Steven Brown, Mercy Hospital. “Unfortunately, it’s not over. But we’ve moved from the pandemic part of the cycle to endemic. It’s here to stay for a long time.”

Brown is a non-voting member of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which met Tuesday to discuss and recommend that Americans get new shots.

Health officials say a recent surge in COVID-19 cases has them urging Americans to consider the latest vaccine clearing regulatory hurdles.

“The virus, unfortunately, is still deadly,” Brown said. “It still puts people in the hospital. I’m personally managing people in intensive care units as recently as last night who are positive for COVID-19 and experiencing serious consequences with it.”

The FDA has recommended the new Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Both public and private insurance will cover the vaccines.

The advisory committee has recommended everyone 5 years of age and older should get one dose of an updated vaccine this year.

CORRECTION: A prior version of this story had a different recommended age for vaccination. We regret the error.