COVID-19 vaccines available through McHenry County for those uninsured

Programs for uninsured and underinsured among others available

This photo provided by Pfizer in September 2023 shows single-dose vials of the company's updated COVID vaccine for adults. U.S. regulators have approved updated COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, shots aimed at revving up protection this fall and winter. The Food and Drug Administration's decision Monday, Sept. 11, 2023 is part of a shift to treat fall COVID-19 vaccine updates much like getting a yearly flu shot.

The McHenry County Department of Health announced Thursday it has COVID-19 vaccines and is offering them to those who are uninsured, underinsured or don’t have COVID-19 vaccine coverage.

New shots targeting currently circulating COVID-19 variants have been getting rolled out for the last several weeks, but the rollout has been bumpy, according to the Associated Press.

“In our continuous commitment to public health, we are providing the Fall 2023 COVID-19 vaccine to eligible individuals who meet specific criteria,” according to a news release from the McHenry County health department.

Adults who are uninsured, underinsured or their insurance doesn’t cover COVID-19 vaccines can get vaccinated under the CDC Bridge Access program, and patients won’t have any out-of-pocket costs, according to the news release. The McHenry County health department wrote vaccines in this program are through the state through Dec. 31, 2024, or until supplies run out.

Under the Vaccines for Children program, children ages 6 months to 18, uninsured or underinsured individuals, and those on public aid or individuals of American Indian/Alaskan Native heritage are eligible for the vaccine. Those getting public assistance might have to pay an administrative fee for the vaccine.

Those interested can schedule an appointment by calling 815-334-4500, though people are advised to check with their insurance provider first if there’s any question about their eligibility. The shots are available at the department’s Woodstock and Crystal Lake locations.

Individuals whose health insurance covers vaccines, including those with private insurance, Medicaid recipients aged 19 and older, Medicare recipients with Part B, and Tricare recipients, are not eligible for the McHenry County health department’s current vaccine supply, according to the release.

Those ineligible for the vaccine through the health department should call their primary care doctors or local pharmacies about vaccine options, the department advised.

COVID-19-related hospitalizations and ER visits in McHenry County have inched up slightly this fall but hospital admissions remain low, according to county records.