All adults over 18-years-old are not only eligible for a COVID booster shot in Illinois and across the country, but are also strongly recommended to get one by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Illinois Department of Public Health and Chicago health experts.
"All Chicagoans 18 and older should get a booster now," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said Tuesday during a Facebook Live. "If you're worried about omicron, get a booster and do it now," Arwady continued.
"Especially for those who are older, now is the time to get it. We have vaccine available."
More on COVID Booster Shots
Previously, the CDC only recommended that people ages 50 and up, as well as those in long-term care facilities, should get a booster. The agency said at the time adults ages 18 to 49 may choose to get a booster, based on their risk.
However, after the quickly spreading omicron variant -- which has now been confirmed in more than a dozen states across the country -- was detected in late November, the CDC strengthened is guidance.
"The recent emergence of the omicron variant (B.1.1.529) further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters, and prevention efforts needed to protect against COVID-19," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in statement on Nov. 30.
The Illinois Department of Public Health also strongly recommends those over 18-years-old get COVID booster shots.
Pfizer, Moderna COVID Booster Shot Timeline
If you're over 18-years-old and you've had the first and second doses of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccine, you are eligible for a COVID booster shot 6 months after your second dose.
Johnson & Johnson COVID Booster Shot Timeline
If you're over 18-years-old and you've had the single Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine shot, you are eligible for a COVID booster shot 2 months after your vaccine.
Will We Need Booster for the Omicron Variant?
"We might," Dr. Arwady said Tuesday, adding that health experts will know more in another two weeks once more data has been collected.
"I don't have the answers out of whether an omicron booster will be needed, but what I do know is that getting the vaccines we have now and getting boosted has helped protect against the spread of omicron in a number of case examples," Arwady said.
As of Dec. 7, the omicron variant has been detected in four Midwestern states, but it has not been confirmed in Illinois.
"You're not going to get turned away from getting a booster if you're over the age of 18," Arwady said in a previous in a previous Facebook Live event. "We have plenty of availability here."