Illinois recommends COVID-19 booster shots for adults

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A doctor holds a vaccine vial in their gloved hand.

Aidan Bengford, News Reporter

DeKALB — The Illinois Department of Public Health is opening COVID-19 booster shots to everyone eligible to receive the vaccine and is recommended 18 years or older to get a COVID-19 booster shot. 

The booster should only be taken six months after receiving the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or two months after receiving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“While we need more people who are completely unvaccinated to get their first doses, we cannot risk losing some of the protection the vaccines have already provided due to waning immunity,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike in a Friday news release. 

The lower effectiveness is likely due to decreasing protection as time passes since getting vaccinated, and the greater infectiousness of the Delta variant, according to an  IDPH news release. This happens every year with the seasonal flu vaccine too.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Americans should get the same vaccine for the first and second doses of the vaccines, but the booster shots are similar enough that mixing and matching booster shots are allowed. The only criteria to meet is the booster shot timeline of two to six months.

For more information on COVID-19 booster shots, contact your health care provider or visit www.vaccines.gov to find a nearby booster shot location. People with questions about vaccines and booster doses can call the COVID-19 Call Center at 833-621-1284.