The Illinois Department of Public Health said Friday it is adopting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendations for eligible people to receive a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in Illinois.
“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 in a statement.
The CDC on Thursday endorsed booster shots for millions of older or otherwise vulnerable Americans.
Here's the latest list of who qualifies, according to the CDC:
- People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series,
- People aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine atleast 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series,
- People aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks, and
- People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.
“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," Ezike said. "The information reviewed by the FDA shows that there is clear evidence of the benefit of booster doses at this time.”
What counts as a qualifying underlying health condition? Here's a list from the CDC:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Chronic lung diseases, including COPD, asthma (moderate-to-severe), interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis, and pulmonary hypertension
- Dementia or other neurological conditions
- Diabetes (type 1 or type 2)
- Down syndrome
- Heart conditions (such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies or hypertension)
- HIV infection
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system)
- Liver disease
- Overweight and obesity
- Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
- Smoking, current or former
- Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant
- Stroke or cerebrovascular disease, which affects blood flow to the brain
- Substance use disorders
President Joe Biden on Friday urged those who are now eligible to get a booster shot.
"My message today is this: If you've got the Pfizer vaccine, you got the Pfizer vaccine in January, February, or March of this year, and you're over 65 years of age, go get the booster," he said. "Or if you have a medical condition like diabetes, or you're a frontline worker like a health care worker or teacher, you can get a free booster now."
IDPH directed individuals eligible for a booster shot to contact their health care provider or visit www.vaccines.gov to find a location.
Walgreens and CVS are now offering COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to all eligible people, the companies announced Friday.
"IDPH recommends vaccine providers prioritize those at highest risk of severe illness among the eligible booster population," the health department said.