DuPage Health Department Reopens COVID-19 Community Vaccination Clinic

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The DuPage County Health Department reopened a COVID-19 community vaccination clinic at the DuPage County Fairgrounds Wednesday.

“We’ve opened it to accommodate individuals who are now eligible for a booster dose. So those are individuals who received a second dose of Pfizer vaccine six or more months ago,” DuPage County Health Department Executive Director Karen Ayala said.

Those eligible include people aged 65 and older, people 18 and older who have underlying medical conditions, and those 18 and older who live or work in high-risk settings.

Vaccines For Kids Pending

Word on vaccines for kids aged five to 11 could be coming around the start of November, as the FDA plans to review Pfizer’s paperwork for that age group later this month.

“We’ll probably be taking younger kids here, but we have yet to determine exactly what our strategy is, because we know that working with kids is a lot different than working with adults in a vaccine clinic kind of situation, and so we want to make it, again, easy and quick and simple for parents to get their kids vaccinated as well,” Ayala said.

The department has overcome the vaccine shortages seen during the initial release. So when the time comes, it plans to provide vaccines for kids in a variety of convenient locations, including doctor’s offices, pharmacies, and schools.

Community Vaccination

DuPage County is the most vaccinated county in Illinois, with about 65% of the population fully vaccinated.

Ayala says the vaccine has proven effective in reducing hospitalizations and deaths, but even those fully vaccinated are at risk of catching the virus.

“We’re seeing an increasing number of cases in our community in individuals who are fully vaccinated. So in order to fully end this pandemic we want to make sure the transmission rate goes down,” Ayala said.

The CDC recommends that people protect themselves and others from COVID-19 by masking up when appropriate, maintaining social distance, washing hands regularly, and of course getting vaccinated.

The department plans to reach those who haven’t been vaccinated yet by celebrating those who decide to get the shot, doing outreach to communities who may historically have been reluctant to be vaccinated, and providing opportunities to get the shot in convenient places.

The clinic is open Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Vaccinations are by appointment only.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Flanagan reports.

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