Coronavirus

Will County Health Department offers information on COVID-19 booster shots

The CDC recommends a Pfizer booster for older patients, those at higher risk due to an underlying condition or their job

The Will County Health Department wants residents to understand which COVID-19 vaccine booster shots are available and for whom.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the Pfizer vaccine booster shot for those who received the two-dose series and are at a higher risk due to being age 65 or older, a resident of a long-term care facility who’s 18 or older, or someone with an underlying medical condition like diabetes, obesity, dementia or other chronic disease.

Other underlying conditions could include chronic kidney disease, high blood pressure, long-term lung disease like COPD, Down syndrome, heart conditions, HIV, liver disease, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, a history of organ transplant, a history of smoking, stroke or a substance use disorder.

The CDC also is recommending the Pfizer booster vaccines for anyone age 18 to 64 who is at high risk of exposure to COVID-19 due to their job, such as a first responders, educators, public transit workers, grocery store workers, manufacturing workers, corrections workers, and U.S. Postal Service workers.

Cindy Jackson, the health department’s director of mass vaccination, said the Pfizer booster shots are only available to those who originally received the Pfizer vaccine. Booster shots can be administered six months after a completed two-dose series of the Pfizer vaccine. Individuals can self-attest to whether they have a qualifying condition without specifying which condition at a vaccine clinic.

“We want to protect the public health and help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus and its variants,” Jackson said in a statement.

At the moment, federal regulators have not recommended booster shots for recipients of the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

A COVID-19 vaccine booster also may be administered at the same time a recipient is getting a flu shot, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

For information, including where to find the nearest vaccine clinic, go to willcountyhealth.org.