IDPH advises certain populations to get COVID-19 vaccine boosters

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is adopting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendation for a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in certain populations and a booster dose for people who are in high-risk occupational and institutional settings.

CDC recommends the following groups get boosters:
– Those who are 65 years and older and are residents in long-term care settings
– Those aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions 

CDC also recommends the following groups consider getting boosters:
– Those aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions
– Those aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of an occupational or institutional setting

“While the vaccines continue to be highly effective at preventing severe illnesses, hospitalization, death, as we learn more about COVID-19 and the science evolves, so too must our recommendations,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “Scientists and medical experts continue to monitor vaccines for waning immunity and how well the vaccines protect against new variants, and across which age groups and risk factors. The information reviewed by the FDA shows that there is clear evidence of the benefit of booster doses at this time.”

According to officials, the Delta variant continues to be the predominate virus circulating, and with cases of COVID-19 increasing significantly across the United States, a booster shot will help strengthen protection against severe disease in those populations who are at high risk for exposure to COVID-19 or the complications from severe disease.

Officials said only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is authorized for booster doses in recommended populations at the moment. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given full approval for Pfizer-BioNTech, marketed as Comirnaty, for those ages 16 years and older. 

People can call their health care provider or visit www.vaccines.gov to find a nearby location to get a booster dose.

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