RI County Health Dept. to resume COVID-19 booster shots

RI Co. Public Health

The Rock Island County Health Department expects this week to begin giving the new bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccines that are designed to protect against the Omicron subvariants. 

The vaccine clinics’ timing will depend on when shipments arrive after the Labor Day holiday.

The health department offers two walk-in clinics a week:

  • Moderna shots are available on Tuesdays and Pfizer on Fridays. The new Moderna booster likely won’t be available until Tuesday, Sept. 13, but county health officials expect the updated Pfizer vaccine to be available Friday, Sept. 9. Hours are 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. for both clinics. No appointments are needed, but residents need to know that supplies will be limited until production meets demand. The health department will notify the media and post on its social media channels when the new boosters arrive and how many doses are available.
  • The Pfizer booster is available to anyone 12 years and older, and the Moderna is offered for people ages 18 years and older. Those eligible can get the bivalent booster at least two months after their most recent dose. Those coming to all clinics are asked to bring their vaccination cards.

“We strongly recommend that everyone stay up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccination and treat vaccination as routine healthcare,” said Nita Ludwig, administrator of the Rock Island County Health Department. “Vaccines especially are important for those who are at risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death.”

The new bivalent vaccines are designed to offer extra protection against the Omicron subvariants, which are now the dominant strains of the virus in the Quad Cities and across the world. In addition, the boosters will include the original formulation of the vaccine. 

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization for both bivalent booster vaccines, and the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) authorized them late Thursday, Sept. 1.

Supply of the new bivalent vaccine will be limited at first. The Illinois Department of Public Health expects to receive 580,000 doses for distribution in the next week. This is in addition to 150,000 doses designated for the City of Chicago.

In addition to health departments, the updated boosters will be available at pharmacies, hospitals, and other healthcare providers. The best way to locate a vaccine provider near you is to go to www.vaccines.gov and search for bivalent booster availability.

In the coming weeks, CDC also expects to recommend updated COVID-19 boosters for children ages 5-11 after a full review of data and FDA authorization.

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