The following information was released by the DuPage County Health Department on Wednesday, September 29, 2021. The DuPage County Health Department provides news releases in Spanish here: DCHD 2021 News Releases.
Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) endorsement of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendations for a booster dose of the Pfizer – BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, people who are 65 years and older, residents in long-term care settings, and people aged 50-64 years with underlying medical conditions are eligible for and encouraged to get their booster dose. In addition, people aged 18-49 years with underlying medical conditions as well as people aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission based on their occupational or institutional setting are also eligible to receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine. Booster recommendations only apply to individuals who completed the two-shot series of Pfizer-BioNTech at least 6 months ago. Individuals who received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are not currently eligible for boosters and mixing vaccines is not recommended.
To find a provider, residents are encouraged to visit www.vaccines.gov or to contact their pharmacy or primary care physician. The DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) will begin offering boosters on October 1st at our Wheaton and Lombard locations; however, appointments will be limited, and advance registration is required. DCHD will re-open its mass vaccination site at the DuPage County Fairgrounds on October 13, 2021 for booster doses as well as primary vaccination for eligible persons not yet vaccinated against COVID-19. Individuals who have already registered with DCHD will receive email notification with scheduling instructions. Individuals not yet registered should go to www.dupagehealth.org/covid19vaccine to register or call DCHD at 630-682-7400 for assistance.
As influenza (flu) season nears, it is important that people know it is safe for both the flu and the COVID-19 vaccines to be co-administered at the same visit or on the same day. DuPage County Health Department Executive Director Karen Ayala stressed that, “Managing the effects of the flu will be critical this season as we continue to battle the COVID-19 virus. Getting vaccinated against the flu may help decrease the spread of flu-like illnesses that lead to hospitalization which will tax our already busy healthcare systems.” Many people who are at risk for complications from the flu are also at greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
COVID-19 cases and related hospitalizations continue to trend in the right direction. While DuPage County remains at a “High” transmission level, the 7-day rolling average has decreased by 18.6% over the past week as of Sunday, September 26th with 120.92 cases per 100,000 reported, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the latest CDC COVID-19 vaccination data, 71.2% of eligible residents 12 years and older in DuPage County have been fully vaccinated and 76% of the total population has received at least one dose. DCHD continues to recommend all eligible persons get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible, to protect themselves and those around them at home, school, work, and in the community.
“Working together, our community can continue to make progress in ending the pandemic, but everyone must do their part,” urged Executive Director Karen Ayala. “Following mask guidance is an essential piece of this puzzle especially in children under the age of 12 who are not yet eligible for the vaccine. This won’t be forever, but we need to continue these effective prevention measures, for now.” The CDC recommends and DCHD supports universal indoor masking for all persons in public indoor settings including schools, regardless of vaccination status, to prevent spread during current high levels of community transmission.
For more information on COVID-19 in DuPage County, visit www.dupagehealth.org/covid19. Anyone age 12 years or older is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and can find an appointment by going to www.vaccines.gov. No-cost testing remains available. For more information on testing locations visit www.dupagehealth.org/covid19testing.
For general questions about COVID-19 and Illinois’ response and guidance, call 1-800-880-3931 or email DPH.SICK.@ILLINOIS.GOV.