IDPH pushes booster shots, vaccinating nursing home residents and staff by Thanksgiving

COVID booster shot generic
COVID booster shot generic
Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 11:40 AM CDT
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CHICAGO, Ill. (WIFR) - With 1.5 million Illinois residents being currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination booster shot, state officials are launching a statewide effort to increase uptake rates.

IDPH is partnering with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), and Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) to increase education around boosters and provide support to skilled nursing facilities as they work to administer boosters to residents.

The goal is to vaccinate staff and residents in skilled nursing facilities by Thanksgiving.

Currently, Illinois residents 65 or older, anyone 18+ with underlying medical conditions, or who work or live in high-risk settings, such as educators and first responders, are eligible to receive a booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine. The CDC is set to review booster recommendations for the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines on Oct. 20 and 21, with final CDC authorization coming at the end of the week.

Officials say as of October 12, only 18 percent of Illinoisans aged 65 or older have received a booster shot.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended a booster shot for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on September 23. Eligible residents who previously received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine can receive a booster shot at a pharmacy, their primary care provider, local health department, and other locations offering Pfizer vaccinations.

IDPH is going with the administration’s effort to get booster shots into the arms of residents at long-term care facilities, approximately 85 percent of which administered the Pfizer vaccine to its residents.

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