COVID-19 Boosters Important in the Fight to End the Pandemic
DuPage County— On Thursday, October 21, 2021 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) unanimously recommended expanded use of a booster dose of the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. According to the CDC, all three COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even in the midst of the widely circulating Delta variant.
Individuals who received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months ago and meet criteria below are eligible for a booster shot.
• 65 years and older
• Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
• Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
• Age 18+ who work in high-risk settings
• Age 18+ who live in high-risk settings
Individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine are eligible for a booster if they received the vaccine at least two months ago and are 18 years or older.
Availability of the COVID-19 Pfizer booster remains widely available throughout the county. Boosters for those that received their initial series of Moderna or Johnson & Johnson are expected to be available starting next week. DCHD encourages residents to talk with their primary care provider about their eligibility for the booster. DCHD re-opened the community vaccination clinic at the DuPage County Fairgrounds on October 13, 2021 and is currently offering Pfizer booster shots only to individuals who completed a Pfizer vaccine primary series at least 6 months ago. “It remains our top priority to keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible, with vaccines being one of the keys” stressed Executive Director Karen Ayala.
The clinic is open Mondays and Wednesdays 8:30am to 4:00pm and Fridays from 8:30am to 12:00pm; walk-ins are welcome. Residents can also visit www.vaccines.gov to find a provider.
While boosters are important for several reasons, a top priority continues to be vaccination of those not yet vaccinated, including those not yet eligible who are under the age of 12 as well as their parents and caregivers not yet vaccinated. The journal Pediatrics recently published a study which estimated 140,000 children have lost a parent or caregiver due to COVID-19 in the United States between April 1, 2020 through the end of June 2021.
This tragic number has risen in the past three months and is estimated to be around 175,000 today; the majority of these children come from racial and ethnic minority groups. “It is staggering to think about these children who are now without a parent or caregiver due to the impact of COVID-19,” said Karen Ayala, Executive Director. “We must continue to use the tools available to us to protect ourselves and end this pandemic. We encourage everyone who is eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine and/or the COVID-19 booster.”
For more information on COVID-19 in DuPage County, visit www.dupagehealth.org/covid19. Anyone age 12 years or older is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and can find an appointment by going to www.vaccines.gov. No-cost testing remains available. For more information on testing locations visit www.dupagehealth.org/covid19testing.
For general questions about COVID-19 and Illinois’ response and guidance, call 1-800-880-3931 or email [email protected]