DuPage County gears up for COVID-19 vaccine boosters

DuPage County gears up for COVID-19 vaccine boosters

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — DuPage County plans to reopen its mass vaccination clinic to administer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots this fall.

“We are making plans,” said Karen Ayala, executive director of the DuPage County Health Department. “We are working with our community partners and we are exploring ways of reinstituting our mass vaccination clinic for those efforts.”

The DuPage County Fairgrounds in Wheaton had been used as a mass vaccination site until it closed in mid-July.

During a county board meeting Tuesday, Ayala explained she anticipates the number of individuals needing the coronavirus vaccine booster to be significant.

“We know that we will need to provide the additional dose for the moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals,” said Ayala. “We know that booster doses for all individuals over the age of 18, once it's worked its way through the FDA, will be eligible for the third dose and we also anticipate that pediatric doses for less than 12 year olds will be available this fall.”

Federal officials announced booster shots for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines could be available as early as mid-September, which is why DuPage County plans to reopen its mass clinic sometime in October.

Unlike last year, the health department doesn’t expect a shortage of supply.

“We are assured that vaccine supply as well as all of the necessary ancillary supplies will be available to us,” added Ayala.

With the county experiencing a ‘high’ transmission rate, Ayala noted that vaccinations are the best strategy to move past the pandemic.

CDC data shows more than 127 new cases of COVID-19 were reported for every 100,000 people in DuPage last week.

About 68% of eligible residents in DuPage County are fully vaccinated.