Chicago Department of Public Health Weekly Media Brief, 10/05/2023

October 5, 2023

CDPH Public Information

CDPH Vaccination Clinics Open This Week

CDPH’s first Flu and COVID-19 vaccination clinics of the season start this week and will continue through mid-December. The complete schedule is located on the City of Chicago's website. Pre-registration for appointments is strongly encouraged.

The clinics will offer the new, updated COVID-19 vaccine as well as annual flu shots for everyone 6 months and older regardless of health insurance or immigration status.

Got Questions About the New COVID-19 Vaccine? CDPH Has Answers!

Courtesy of Massimo Pacilli, CDPH Deputy Commissioner for the Disease Control Bureau

  • I thought COVID-19 is over, do I really need to get the updated COVID-19 vaccine?
    Yes. Receiving the COVID-19 vaccination is a safer and more dependable way to build immunity to COVID-19 and avoid the worst outcomes of the infection such as severe illness, hospitalization, and death. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccine, as well as flu vaccine.
  • When should I get my updated COVID-19 and flu vaccines?
    Get your shot before Halloween. As long as it’s been two months since your last dose of COVID-19 vaccine, you are eligible for the new vaccine now. The COVID-19 vaccine can be administered at the same time as the flu shot.
  • I heard there have been supply issues early in the rollout, what’s the deal?
    There have been some reports of supply delays, but distribution is expected to increase in October. CDPH encourages everyone to keep trying their local pharmacy, primary care doctor or clinic, or visit or the city’s clinic schedule to find upcoming vaccination appointments.
  • Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I recently had a COVID-19 infection?
    Following infection, you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine when symptoms are no longer present, generally about 10 days later, or you can choose to delay by up to three months.
  • Should I get a COVID-19 vaccine while I'm pregnant?
    Yes. Growing evidence confirms that COVID-19 vaccination before and during pregnancy is safe, effective, and beneficial to both mother and baby. COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future. When you get vaccinated during pregnancy, the protection you receive from the vaccine is passed on to your baby.
  • Can kids get the COVID vaccine at the same time as their annual immunizations?
    Yes. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports kids getting routine immunizations at the same time they get a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Is the updated COVID-19 vaccine still free?

    Yes, all Chicagoans will have access to no cost vaccines this fall and winter. CDPH will be offering the vaccine at no cost, regardless of immigration status, to uninsured and underinsured Chicagoans through Federally Qualified Health Centers that serve underinsured adults, and at City-run Family Vaccination Clinics.

    In addition, certain retail pharmacy chains, including CVS and Walgreens, are participating in the Bridge Access Program to offer no-cost COVID-19 vaccines to those without health insurance. Visit or (Spanish) to find participating pharmacies.

    Most people with private health insurance or Medicare or Medicaid should be able to get the vaccine at no cost through an in-network provider or pharmacy, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). See this HHS letter on some questions around insurance coverage early in the rollout. Anyone unsure which providers are in-network, should call their health insurance company before getting vaccinated to avoid out-of-network charges.

  • What is an updated COVID-19 vaccine? Is it the same as a “booster” shot?
    The virus that causes COVID-19 will keep changing, just like flu, with new variants that arise overtime. To help fight these, COVID-19 vaccines will change too. The fall 2023 updated COVID-19 vaccine contains a new, updated formulation to better match the virus variations that are currently circulating.

Premiering Part 2 of CDPH-Produced HIV Documentary

“HIV and the Journey Toward Zero: Part II – The Legacy” premieres Tuesday, Oct. 10, at Chicago's Harris Theater (205 E Randolph St.). This installment of the CDPH-produced documentary series focuses on a younger generation of advocates, people living with HIV and those maintaining their HIV-negative status. Our next generation of leaders share frank perspectives on the realities and misconceptions around HIV and getting to zero new infections.

Tickets to the screening are free, but RSVPs are a must. For more information and to reserve your ticket, visit the ticketing page.

Part I of “HIV and the Journey Toward Zero” premiered in February, and in September was nominated for a 2022-23 regional Emmy Award. The film shares the stories of Chicagoans who have been on the frontlines of the fight against HIV/AIDS throughout the past 40 years, including activists, medical professionals, and people living with HIV.