The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has approved the updated COVID-19 vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. These mRNA vaccines better protect against the most recent variants of COVID-19, specifically the EG.5, otherwise known as the Eris variant.
The CDC is currently recommending everyone ages six months or older get at least one dose of the updated vaccine at least two months after their most recent dose. COVID-19 vaccines are vital to protect against severe infection and COVID-19 hospitalizations, especially during the fall and winter months. Appointments can be found and scheduled online at vaccines.gov. The Illinois Dept. of Public Health is distributing vials to local health departments, clinics and commercial pharmacies across the state.
Locally, Community Health Workers (CHWs) will help increase confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine and its uptake among vulnerable populations. CHWs also serve as trusted sources of information about COVID-19, vaccination and how they continue to outweigh any potential risks. CHWs play a vital role in keeping communities safe through education and easy access to these potentially life-saving vaccinations.
The CDC also recommends getting a flu shot and RSV vaccine to help eliminate the threat of a tripledemic. Using safe health practices, such as frequently washing hands and testing for COVID-19 when symptoms are present, help keep communities and loved ones safe from respiratory illness this season.
The Federal government recently announced four at-home COVID-19 tests will be available for free. Orders must be placed online.
While the alarm of COVID-19, which initially gripped the world, has lessened, the threat is still very much relevant. These updated vaccinations are a simple way to ensure those you love stay safe.
For more information and to find your closest vaccination location, please visit vaccines.gov