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COVID-19 Booster Shots Are Available In Chicago. Here’s How To Get One If You Qualify

Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots have all been approved, though with different eligibility requirements.

Lakeview Pantry client Eustorgia Alcarav receives her first dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the vaccination site next to Wrigley Field on April 5, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — The city’s health department will start offering COVID-19 booster shots Monday.

Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots have all been approved, though with different eligibility requirements. Those doses will now be available at city-run events and clinics, as well as though the city’s program where people can get shots at home.

The vaccines remain largely protective against COVID-19, and breakthrough cases remain rare, but boosters can offer even greater protection in the months after a person finishes their initial vaccination, research has found.

Experts have specifically pushed for people 65 and older and people with underlying health conditions to get their booster shots, since they have been the most likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19 if they have a breakthrough case.

Booster shots are free and do not require insurance or government ID.

Here’s what you need to know:

If You Got Vaccinated With Pfizer Or Moderna

If you got vaccinated with Moderna or Pfizer, you must wait at least six months after that vaccination before getting a booster shot. You can then get a booster shot of any type, so long as you meet eligibility requirements.

Here’s who is eligible for boosters:

  • People 65 and older.
  • People 18 and older who live in a long-term care setting.
  • People 18 and older who have an underlying medical condition. Here’s a list of some qualifying underlying conditions.
    • Cancer.
    • Chronic kidney disease.
    • Chronic liver disease.
    • Chronic lung diseases, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cystic fibrosis.
    • Dementia or other neurological conditions.
    • Diabetes, types 1 and 2.
    • Down syndrome.
    • Heart conditions.
    • HIV.
    • Immunocompromised state.
    • Mental health conditions, including depression and schizophrenia.
    • Overweight and obesity.
    • Pregnancy.
    • Sickle cell disease or thalassemia.
    • Smoking, current or former.
    • Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant.
    • Stroke or cerebrovascular disease.
    • Substance use disorders.
    • Tuberculosis.
  • People 18 and older who work or live in a high-risk setting. Here’s a list of those settings.
    • First responders.
    • Education staff.
    • Food and agriculture workers.
    • Manufacturing workers.
    • Corrections workers.
    • Postal Service workers.
    • Public transit workers.
    • Grocery store workers.

If You Got Vaccinated With Johnson & Johnson

Anyone 18 and older who got a Johnson & Johnson dose for their initial vaccination can get any type of booster shot starting two months after their Johnson & Johnson shot.

Mix And Matching Vaccines

The federal government is allowing people to get booster shots that are different from the initial vaccine they got. This means someone who got vaccinated with the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine can get a booster shot from Moderna or Pfizer, for example.

People who got a Johnson & Johnson shot must wait at least two months before getting a booster.

People who got a Moderna or Pfizer shot must wait at least six months before getting a booster.

Where To Get Boosters

Doctors and health care providers: People can contact their primary care providers to learn if they are offering COVID-19 booster shots. Local officials have previously recommended people try to get their shots from their main doctor or health care provider, if possible.

Pharmacies: Various pharmacies and pharmacy chains, including CVS, are offering COVID-19 booster shots. Call ahead to check availability.

At home: You can get your booster shot at home through the city health department. The city will vaccinate up to 10 people at a time per appointment, and participants do not all need to be part of one household. Call 312-746-4835 or go online to make an appointment.

City events: The city hosts events every week where people can get vaccinated and can get booster shots. Here is an online calendar of events.

Getting Vaccinated

Everyone 12 and older is eligible to get vaccinated in Chicago.

COVID-19 vaccinations are free and do not require insurance or government ID.

Anyone can call the city’s coronavirus hotline at 312-746-4835 to get more information on how and where to get vaccinated in their community.

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers.

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