Coronavirus

Will County Health Department urges residents to get their COVID-19 vaccine booster

Anyone 18 years or older is eligible to get a booster shot

Following the OK from federal regulators for everyone age 18 and up to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, Will County health officials are urging residents to get the their booster for optimum protection.

After the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to open COVID-19 boosters to all those 18 and older last week, the Illinois Department of Public Health decided to follow suit, according to a news release.

The agencies recommend that anyone 18 and older should get their booster six months after they received their second Moderna or Pfizer shot. Those who received the single Johnson & Johnson vaccine should get a booster two months afterward.

Cindy Jackson, the director of mass vaccinations at the Will County Health Department, encouraged all residents to schedule an appointment to get their booster before the holidays. She noted that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also allows those eligible to receive a booster shot from a brand different from the vaccine they originally got.

“Anyone 18 and older who has received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine should get the booster vaccine for additional protection,” Jackson said in a statement.

Early data show the effectiveness of the vaccines against COVID-19 infections decreases over time, especially considering the spread of the highly infectious delta variant.

Health officials stressed that booster vaccine shots are common, like when the seasonal flu vaccine is given every year.

Will County Health Department Executive Director Sue Olenek said residents should also continue to practice other safety measures to prevent a post-holiday spike in new COVID-19 infections.

“Not only is vaccination effective, but we must not forget about washing our hands and avoiding highly touched surfaces like doorknobs, handles, buttons, etc.,” Olenek said in a statement. “Germs spread easily on our hands, and then we transfer the germs to others, or touch our eyes, or mouth. I urge anyone who is not vaccinated to get the vaccine. It is safe and it is easy to find a vaccine. This is the best way to ensure our family’s safety during the holiday season.”

For information on scheduling a booster shot, visit willcountyhealth.org.