Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker receives his COVID-19 booster shot at Mile Square Health Center in Chicago on November 2, 2021. | Photo: IDPH

The Illinois Department of Public Health is recommending all Illinois residents 18 and older receive a COVID-19 booster shot after the FDA expanded their authorization Friday.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) said the vaccine booster dose should be administered at least six months after someone receives their second Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, or two months after receiving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“For continued, ongoing protection, we are urging everyone who is eligible to get a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine to get one,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.

“Scientific and medical experts have reviewed the data and found booster doses are beneficial. While we need more people who are completely unvaccinated to get their first doses, we cannot risk losing some of the protection the vaccines have already provided due to waning immunity,” Ezike said.

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Early data show that the vaccine’s effectiveness against COVID-19 infections is decreasing over time.

The lower effectiveness is likely due to the combination of decreasing protection as time passes since getting vaccinated, as well as the greater infectiousness of the Delta variant, health officials said.

“Getting a booster shot is not uncommon. This happens every year with the seasonal flu vaccine,” IDPH said in a statement.

It is recommended that people receive the same type of vaccine for both their first and second doses, however, the CDC has said mix and matching vaccines for booster shots is allowed.

For example, those who received two doses of the Moderna vaccine may opt to get a Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for their booster dose.

Those who received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine may choose Moderna for their booster dose.

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Individuals can contact their health care provider or visit www.vaccines.gov to find a nearby location to receive a booster dose.

People who have questions about vaccines and booster doses can call the Illinois COVID-19 Call Center at 1-833-621-1284.