Kane County Health Officials: Most Residents Over 18 Are Eligible For Boosters Now

Kane County Health Officials: Most Residents Over 18 Are Eligible For Boosters Now

UPDATE: 3PM FRIDAY, NOV. 19

The FDA today gave the OK for Moderna and Pfizer booster shots for all adults, a CDC panel has endorsed the practice, and as of 3 p.m. all that’s left for approval is a thumbs up from CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky to give the thumbs up.

But if you had been looking to get a booster prior to the formal federal approval, you probably could get one.

Kane County Health officials said Wednesday (Nov. 17, 2021) that most Kane County residents over the age of 18 already qualified.

Many states — including New York, California, West Virginia, Minnesota, Arkansas, Colorado and New Mexico — bypassed the federal booster regulations and started giving boosters to anyone over age 18.

Kane County health officials underlined at Wednesday’s Public Health Committee meeting that just about anyone over 18 in Kane County can get a booster shot, as well, if it has been more than six months since they received the second dose of the Pfizer/Moderna vaccine or at least two months since they got the Jansen shot.

“Each person has to self evaluate what their risk is,” said Michael Isaacson, assistant director of community health for the Kane County Health Department. “Right now, if someone is over 18, they are living in a community with high transmission. So if they are out in the community, they are at higher risk.

“We know that vaccine efficacy wanes after six months or so, so people have to make that determination for themselves.”

Laura Barrett, Kane County Health Department director of disease prevention, said many people over 18 in Kane County may be eligible and simply not realize they can get a booster now.

“Just for a point of reference, underlying medical conditions is a very broad range,” she said. “Anyone with a BMI (Body Mass Index) over 25 will qualify for a booster shot. That’s over two-thirds of our population right there. Anyone who is overweight or obese would medically qualify. It’s a very broad brush.

“Everyone who is interested in getting that booster has been able to get that, usually within days of when they are eligible,” she added. “Once they meet the criteria – two months for the Jansen, six months for the Pfizer or Moderna – they should be able to get that vaccine. And there are plenty of places you can just walk into.”

In addition to the Kane Vax Hub on Randall Road in Batavia, many local pharmacies and medical offices administer the COVID-19 vaccine.

“When you do go to the Kane Vax Hub, we do not ask for any criteria,” Barrett said. “We do not ask for any proof that your meet that criteria. There’s no proof that you have to show.”

Uche Onwuta

Uche Onwuta, Kane County Health Department director of health promotion, encouraged Kane County residents to consider getting the booster sooner rather than later.

“I would suggest that anyone who wants the booster shot, go to the Kane Vax Hub and go through the registration, because chances are the person might qualify,” she said. “Like Laura said, with the underlying conditions, almost everyone is eligible based on that.”

Isaacson said the job categories also can be determined with some flexibility.

Presently, people in high-risk settings are defined as:

  • First responders (e.g., healthcare workers, firefighters, police, congregate care staff)
  • Education staff (e.g., teachers, support staff, daycare workers)
  • Food and agriculture workers
  • Manufacturing workers
  • Corrections workers
  • U.S. Postal Service workers
  • Public transit workers
  • Grocery store workers

But Isaacson said every person should “self assess” his or her level of danger. If you have a job that puts you in close contact with the general public, a booster shot might be appropriate.

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