Coronavirus

McHenry County Department of Health encouraging residents to get COVID-19 booster

CDC now allows for mixing and matching vaccine products for booster shots

In light of news that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now allows for mixing and matching booster COVID-19 shots, the McHenry County Department of Health is encouraging those eligible to get the booster to help “strengthen protection against severe disease or complications from severe disease.”

The CDC recommends Pfizer and Moderna recipients who completed their first series at least six months ago get a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot if they are 65 years and older; are 18 years or older with underlying medical conditions; or live or work in high-risk settings.

Those who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine should get a booster dose at least two months after their initial dose, the health department said in a news release.

While using two different products for booster doses has been OK’d, those who are unvaccinated and seeking Pfizer or Moderna vaccines have to use the same product during the initial two-dose series, the health department said.

“When considering a booster dose, the vaccine used to complete the primary vaccination series should be used. If it is not available or another product is preferred, mixing and matching of an available COVID-19 vaccine booster is acceptable,” the health department said. “An individual benefit-risk assessment or a discussion with a primary care provider is encouraged to help booster recipients make informed decisions about which booster shot is best for them.”

Those looking for vaccine appointments can go to vaccines.gov, text their ZIP code to 438829, or call 800-232-0233.

To get a booster shot at one of the McHenry County Department of Health’s clinics in Crystal Lake or Woodstock, people must bring a photo ID and a CDC vaccination record or a Vax Verify record. If no card is presented, a new card can be issued for a fee if the vaccine doses can be verified in the state of Illinois’s vaccine registry.

Those interested in receiving their vaccine at an MCDH clinic can reserve their appointment in advance at bit.ly/MCDHCOVIDVaxLoc or by calling the county’s COVID-19 Call Center at 815-334-4045