ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL — With 97 counties in the State of Illinois now under a warning for increased COVID-19 trends, including an increase in positive cases and COVID-19 hospitalizations, the State of Illinois is partnering with Cook County Health to offer one-day mass vaccination booster clinics. These clinics, located in Arlington Heights, North Riverside and Blue Island, will offer residents an opportunity to capitalize on the extra protection provided by COVID-19 boosters at a time when new variants and increased transmission levels threaten our most vulnerable residents, according to a news release.
The clinic in Arlington Heights will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Arlington Heights Health Center, 3250 N. Arlington Heights Road, Suite 300. No appointment is necessary. Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots will be available.
“Between the holiday season and the Omicron variant, it’s more important than ever for residents to get vaccinated and get boosted,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said. “All residents are welcome to visit our mass vaccination sites in southern, western, and northwestern Cook County this Sunday. It’s completely free, no matter your zip code, immigration status, or insurance status. Whether you need your booster dose, your first dose, or your second dose, our IDPH-IEMA teams are there to help you get protected from COVID-19.”
On Thursday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use as a booster in people ages 16 and 17. Just as with adults, 16- and 17-year-olds are now eligible — and recommended — to receive a booster dose six months after their second dose of the vaccine. At these three regionally located mass vaccination booster clinics, all three vaccines will be available for individuals in need of a booster. Individuals in need of a first or second dose are also welcome to utilize these free clinics. As with all state mass vaccination clinics are available to any Illinois resident, and no appointment, identification or health insurance will be required.
While adults have the ability to mix-and-match their booster vaccine, 16- and 17-year-olds are only authorized to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech booster, according to the news release.
Earlier this week, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Chicago Department of Public Health announced Illinois’ first known COVID-19 case caused by the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529). Health officials admit there is much more to learn about this new variant, initial data suggests that COVID-19 boosters strengthen protection against COVID-19 and the Omicron variant.
As people gather indoors with family and friends for the holidays, state and local health officials urge residents to continue practicing preventive public health measures: vaccinations, booster shots, wearing masks, avoiding large crowds and social distancing where possible all remain the most effective tools for fighting COVID-19.
For those unable to attend one of these three mass vaccination booster clinics, they can visit vaccines.gov to find a clinic near them.