Illinois steps up efforts to increase COVID booster rates

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CHICAGO– Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker is and the state health department announced a statewide effort to increase booster shot rates. Their efforts are focusing first on older Illinoisians.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is teaming up with the state’s Emergency Management Agency and the Illinois Department of Aging to help nursing facilities administer the booster shots.

As of October 12th, only 18% of Illinois residents aged 65 and older had received a booster. 

Currently, Pfizer booster shots are available to those who are age 65 and older, have an underlying medical condition, or work in a high-risk setting.

The CDC is expected to approve the use of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters later this week.

“We know that advanced age is a significant factor in COVID-19 breakthrough hospitalizations and deaths, but a booster dose can help provide continued protection,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.

State officials say seniors are 29 times more likely to end up in the hospital if they don’t have the vaccine.

There is also an effort underway to provide booster shots to residents at the state-run veteran’s homes.

You can get more information about booster shots in Illinois here.

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