As holidays near, health officials urge getting COVID booster

Vaccine available at Will County health department sites

Will County — The Will County Health Department issued a reminder to county residents that new COVID-19 booster vaccinations are available at its offices and at the Will County Community Health Center in Joliet.

According to the health department, one dose of the new vaccine is recommended for patients 5 and older, and the brand does not have to be the same as previous vaccinations the patients received.

Moderna, Pfizer and Novavax vaccines are available at the Will County Health Department office in Joliet for patients 6 months and older, but the brand individuals receive may depend on their insurance coverage.

Health department offices in Monee and Bolingbrook are offering Moderna and Novavax immunizations to adults and children.

Patients who are uninsured or underinsured still are eligible for vaccinations, which have been proven effective against the current prevalent strains of the virus. However, it is recommended they make an appointment before visiting the offices for a vaccination. Appointments can be made by calling 815-740-8143.

Pfizer vaccines also are available at the Will County Community Health Center in Joliet for any patient 6 months and older, regardless of insurance. Residents do not have to be an existing patient at the health center to receive a vaccine, but they must register.

Walk-in appointments are available between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at the Community Health Center, or appointments can be made in advance.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends Americans receive the updated COVID-19 booster to reduce the risk of severe illness, hospitalization or death from the virus, especially as the weather gets colder and respiratory viruses such as COVID-19 and influenza can more easily spread during indoor activities.

“COVID-19 variants continue to emerge but have not resulted in rapid disease surges,” the CDC said in its updated respiratory disease season outlook in October. “We continue to anticipate a moderate COVID-19 wave, causing around as many hospitalizations at the peak as occurred at last winter’s peak.”