The Rock Island County Health Department now is offering COVID vaccines for everyone ages 6 months and older, both with private insurance and through a federal program for the uninsured or underinsured.
In a news release Tuesday, Oct. 24, the RICHD also said it will phase out availability of the Pfizer vaccine for all ages after the initial supply is depleted. As of Tuesday, 25 Pfizer doses were available for those ages 12 and older, and many doses for ages 6 months to 11 years.
Health officials warned, however, after these doses are given there will be no Pfizer doses available at the RICHD. Both Pfizer and Moderna doses are interchangeable; patients don’t have to stick with one brand, the release said.
The department continues to offer appointments for Moderna on Tuesdays and for Pfizer – while supplies last – on Fridays. Appointments for children ages 6 months to 12 years are available on Wednesdays for families with and without insurance. For an appointment, call (309) 794-7080.
“COVID vaccines for children have been a little hard to find all across the country and here in the Quad Cities,” Janet Hill, RICHD’s chief operating officer, said in the release. “We want to make it easy for parents to get their children protected during respiratory illness season. For the best protection, we urge everyone to get vaccinated for both COVID and flu at least two weeks before Thanksgiving because the holiday is typically the first time that families and friends gather indoors where viruses spread easily.”
The department’s last scheduled walk-in flu clinic will be on Tuesday, Oct. 31, from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m., but appointments can be made throughout the respiratory illness season.
Health officials reminded QC patients that COVID vaccines no longer are being provided for free from the federal government. The health department will bill a patient’s health insurance, and it is the patient’s responsibility to determine coverage with their insurance company. Medicare Part B and Illinois Medicaid will pay for the COVID vaccine. According to the RICHD, it expects insurance patients will have no out-of-pocket costs, but individual policies could vary.
For the flu vaccine, there is no out-of-pocket cost to those with Medicare Part B or an Illinois Medicaid or managed care organization card. Most of the Blue Cross, UnitedHealth Care, Aetna, Cigna, Coventry, Medica and Humana insurance plans are accepted.
Patients should bring all insurance cards with them to the clinic and should check if a flu shot is covered by their insurance carrier.
For those not using insurance, the cost is $35. High-dose vaccines for seniors are $66 without insurance. Visa and Mastercard will be accepted.
The RICHD added that both the flu and COVID vaccines also are available at other health care and pharmacy partners. To find locations and appointment times, visit vaccines.gov.