COVID-19 Vaccine Update and Addition of 2021-2022 FLU Vaccine Walk-In Hours
COVID-19 Vaccine Update
The DeKalb County Health Department (DCHD) continues to offer COVID-19 vaccine during walk-in hours with no appointment required. Since June, DCHD has offered walk-in COVID-19 clinics Monday-Friday and has administered over 1,900 vaccines during these on-site clinic opportunities. Over ninety community-based clinics have also been held throughout the County including vaccine opportunities at local agencies, businesses, schools, Juneteenth Celebration (DeKalb), Lyons Tractor Fest (Waterman), Sandwich Fair, and Grow Mobile locations. According to the IDPH COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Data website, 49,308 people or 47.35% of the total eligible population are fully vaccinated in DeKalb County.
Currently, individuals with moderately to severely compromised immune systems are recommended for a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine. This includes people currently receiving treatment for cancer, people taking medications that weaken the immune systems, organ or stem cell transplant recipients, individuals with advanced or untreated HIV infection, and other conditions. A full list of conditions can be found on CDC’s website. Individuals who believe they are eligible for a third vaccine dose should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them, and the appropriate timing of vaccination. Locally, third-dose vaccinations are available through local pharmacies or the DCHD and can be given 28 days after receiving the second dose. For clinics at the DCHD, an attestation form will need to be signed in order to receive the 3rd dose for those who are immunocompromised.
COVID-19 booster shots are not yet being offered, as they have to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Once approved, and when IDPH recommends COVID-19 booster shots, local health departments, including DCHD, will provide details on how individuals can receive the booster. The distribution of booster shots may be different by county based on when and what type of vaccine residents received and the recommendations for administration.
2021-2022 Influenza (Flu) Vaccine
In addition to COVID-19 vaccines, DCHD will begin offering flu vaccine today, Monday, September 20 with no appointment required. Especially during the pandemic, it is recommended that everyone 6 months and older receive the flu vaccine, with few exceptions. The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by various influenza virus strains. The CDC recommends that a person receives the flu vaccine as soon as it is available as September and October are generally good times to be vaccinated. It takes up to two weeks for protection to develop after the shot.
The best way to lower a person’s risk of the flu is to receive a flu shot. Just like COVID-19, taking every day precautions like frequent handwashing and limiting exposure to people who are sick also help in preventing the spread of flu and COVID-19.
Many of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are the same, such as fever and cough, but there are some differences. To learn more about the similarities and differences between symptoms of flu and COVID-19, visit the CDC website. If you experience symptoms of either flu or COVID-19, self-isolate and contact a health care provider.
To help increase opportunities for community members to receive the flu and COVID-19 vaccine, vaccines will be offered Monday-Friday from 8:30am-11:30am and 1:00pm-3:30pm at the Health Department (2550 N. Annie Glidden Rd. DeKalb, IL. 60115). A person can receive both the flu and COVID-19 vaccine within the same appointment, no need to wait to receive either vaccine.
To view the next Mobile Health Unit dates in the community, visit the DCHD website. Dates will be updated as events and locations are added. The next Mobile Health Unit will be held at the Taste of DeKalb on Sunday, September 26.
For more information about flu, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), www.cdc.gov/flu. For more information on DCHD clinics, visit the DeKalb County Health Department website at https://health.dekalbcounty.org/