File Photo | Photo: CDC

The Illinois Department of Public Health has adopted the CDC’s recommendations for certain populations to receive COVID-19 booster shots six months after getting vaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people ages 65 and older, 18 and older in long-term care settings and ages 50-64 with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The booster shot should be received at least six months after their second dose of the vaccine.

The CDC also recommends the booster shot for people ages 18-49 with underlying medical conditions and people ages 18-64, who are at an increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of their occupational or institutional setting.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced on Friday they were adopting the CDC’s recommendations.

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IDPH recommends vaccine providers prioritize those at the highest risk of severe illness among the eligible booster population.

A booster shot helps strengthen protection for those who are at high risk for exposure to COVID-19, the health department says.

Eligible individuals may contact their health care provider or visit the vaccine finder website to find a nearby location to receive a booster dose.

Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the only Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized vaccine that the CDC has recommended a booster dose.

Data on the effectiveness of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots are expected soon, the CDC says.

IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said, “While the vaccines continue to be highly effective at preventing severe illnesses, hospitalization, death, as we learn more about COVID-19 and the science evolves, so too must our recommendations.”

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“Scientists and medical experts continue to monitor vaccines for waning immunity and how well the vaccines protect against new variants, and across which age groups and risk factors.  The information reviewed by the FDA shows that there is clear evidence of the benefit of booster doses at this time,” she added.