Chicago Department of Public Health to Begin Offering COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Doses on Monday
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CHICAGO—The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced today that it will begin offering COVID-19 vaccine booster doses to all eligible Chicagoans on Monday, October 25. Pfizer and J&J booster doses will be offered at all CDPH pop-up clinics and events, including joint flu-COVID vaccination clinics, and through Protect Chicago At Home, the City’s in-home vaccination program. In addition, hundreds of pharmacies and healthcare providers throughout the city are also offering vaccine booster doses.
Based on authorization from the FDA and recommendations from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) this week, recipients of all three vaccines may be eligible for booster doses, based on specific criteria.
The following groups who received a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series are eligible to receive a third “booster” dose of any vaccine at least six months after completing their initial vaccine series:
65 years and older
Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings
People 18 and older who received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible to receive a “booster” dose of any vaccine at least two months after their initial vaccine.
The FDA and CDC have authorized people to receive a booster dose of a vaccine different from the one they originally received. Timing for the booster dose should follow these guidelines: If you received a J & J vaccine, your booster should be at least two months after your original vaccine; if you received a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series, your booster should be at least six months after completing your original series.
People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised should continue to consult with their specialty provider about timing and dosage of vaccines, as the recommendations are distinct for these individuals.
“Now is a great time to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose as long as it has been six months since your second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or two months since you received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. “Boosters are free, they are available at hundreds of locations throughout the City, including at CDPH clinics and events, and they provide extra protection heading into the winter months and holiday gatherings.”
Dr. Arwady added: “I especially want everyone over age 65 to get a booster. It is not that the COVID-19 vaccines are not working well. They continue to do a fantastic job of preventing hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Where we have seen some fall off in protection is those who are in the oldest age groups or who have underlying medical conditions. Booster doses do a good job of strengthening protection against COVID-19 that may have started to wane after initial vaccination.”
As of October 20, approximately 93,000 booster doses have been administered in Chicago.
Also as of October 20, approximately 114,000 seniors in Chicago who received a Pfizer primary series are eligible for a booster, and 36 percent have received one. With Moderna and J&J now authorized for boosters, about 207,000 seniors, or 80 percent of seniors who have completed a primary vaccine series, are eligible.
The City is reaching out to individuals who received in-home vaccinations throughout the duration of the Protect Chicago At Home program to begin scheduling in-home appointments for booster doses, starting with homebound Chicagoans and seniors who received in-home vaccinations earliest.
Only Pfizer and J&J booster doses will be available through the City’s in-home vaccination program and at City-sponsored clinics and events. Booster doses do not qualify for City incentive programs, including the $100 gift card promotion.
To make an appointment for in-home vaccination, call (312) 746-4835 or register at www.chicago.gov/athome.
For a list of mobile and pop-up vaccination events, check the online calendar at Chicago.gov/VaxCalendar.
All COVID-19 vaccinations, including booster doses are free, no insurance or government ID required.