Covid booster shots available through Hy-Vee, CVS and Walgreens

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In this July 30, 2021, file photo, Bradley Sharp, of Saratoga, N.Y., gets the Johnson & Johnson vaccine from registered nurse Stephanie Wagner in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Hy-Vee Pharmacy, CVS and Walgreens are offering free COVID-19 vaccine booster doses.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend a Moderna or Pfizer booster dose for the following vaccine recipients at least 6 months after their second vaccine dose:

  • Long-term care facility residents
  • Individuals ages 65+
  • Individuals ages 18+ with underlying medical conditions, (as outlined by the CDC)
  • Individuals ages 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting

They also recommend a booster dose for all Janssen (J&J) vaccine recipients ages 18 and older at least 2 months after their first vaccine dose.

It is strongly recommended that individuals schedule their COVID-19 vaccination in advance by visiting www.hy-vee.com/covidvaccine. The booster vaccines are free to all eligible patients, regardless of their insurance coverage.

A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a pop-up vaccine clinic in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

There are now booster recommendations for all three available COVID-19 vaccines. Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose providing they follow the booster timeline of their primary vaccine manufacturer (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna: at least 6 months after the second dose; Janssen: at least 2 months after the second dose). Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster. The CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.

Currently, the Moderna vaccine primary series (doses 1 and 2) is authorized for individuals 18 years of age and older. The second dose of the Moderna vaccine should be administered at least 28 days after the first dose. A booster dose of the Moderna vaccine should be administered at least 6 months after the second dose.

Currently, the Janssen (J&J) primary dose is authorized for people 18 and older. A booster dose of the J&J vaccine should be administered at least 2 months after the primary dose.

Individuals receiving a COVID-19 first, second, booster or third dose can receive their flu shot during the same appointment by requesting it with the pharmacy team.

It is recommended (but not required) that vaccine recipients bring the following to their appointment: insurance card (if they have insurance) and Medicare Part B red, white and blue card (if Medicare recipient); photo ID; and their COVID-19 vaccination record card. Masks are required. If individuals do not have insurance, they can still be vaccinated.

Individuals receiving a COVID-19 booster or third dose will need to self-attest to their eligibility. Individuals at Hy-Vee will NOT be required to show documentation to prove eligibility.

Hy-Vee is currently offering $10 Hy-Vee gift cards to patients who complete their COVID-19 vaccination, including eligible vaccine recipients who receive their COVID-19 booster with Hy-Vee by Nov. 1, 2021.

For more information about COVID-19 vaccines, visit www.hy-vee.com/covidvaccine.

The CDC’s recommendations also allow for mix and match dosing for booster shots. For medical guidance around vaccines and boosters, contact your healthcare provider or visit www.vaccine.gov.

CVS and Walgreens boosters

Patients interested in receiving a booster or their initial vaccine series through CVS are strongly encouraged to make an appointment at CVS.com or through the CVS App to secure a convenient time and location. Patients may also conveniently schedule a flu vaccine at the same time as their COVID vaccine when scheduling online. CDC guidance allows for administration of any of the currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines at the same time as the flu vaccine. 

Dr. Lilian Abbo, center, receives a flu vaccine from Nicholas Torres, left, and a Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot from Douglas Houghton, right, at Jackson Memorial Hospital Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, in Miami. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention it is safe to get your COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine at the same time. The COVID-19 booster is now available to those over 65 and to workers whose jobs put them at high risk of exposure. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

“The systems we’ve built and our deep experience in providing vaccinations allows us to play a leading role in administering booster shots to eligible populations,” said Troyen A. Brennan, executive vice president and chief medical officer of CVS Health. “We also remain focused on providing easy and convenient opportunities for the unvaccinated to receive their first doses.”

When scheduling an appointment on CVS.com, patients will be asked to provide the manufacturer and date of their last COVID-19 vaccine and will be able to schedule an appointment for a Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech booster dose if they have had two previous doses with the same vaccine at least six months prior, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine at least two months prior.

Per guidance from the CDC, patients will be asked to self-attest to their eligibility as defined by the eligibility guidelines, to help reduce barriers to access for these select populations.

With the authorization of the Moderna booster dose, more than 9,800 CVS Pharmacy locations are now able to offer COVID-19 booster shots to eligible populations. Each participating CVS Pharmacy location is offering either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.

CVS Health has administered more than 34 million COVID vaccines and 32 million COVID tests across the country to date. The company has played a prominent role in administering third doses to the immunocompromised and previously authorized booster shots from other manufacturers and is prepared to expand vaccine eligibility to ages 5-11 as soon as authorized to do so by public health agencies.

Anaiya Layland, 12, receives her first Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination as her mother, Ashlesha Patel, observes at the Cook County Public Health Department, Thursday, May 13, 2021, in Des Plaines, Ill. (AP Photo/Shafkat Anowar)

CVS Health announced that select CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations are now offering the Moderna booster shot to eligible populations beginning Friday, Oct. 22, in addition to the previously authorized Pfizer-BioNTech booster. More than 9,800 CVS locations across the nation will be administering booster shots for eligible patients, including the more than 400 CVS Locations throughout Illinois and 40 in Iowa.

Appointments for a booster shot and additional immunizations can be also scheduled through Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine, by calling 1-800-Walgreens or by calling a local Walgreens store.

New patients to Walgreens seeking a booster shot will be asked to verify eligibility when the appointment is scheduled and at the time of the appointment. Patients can either bring their COVID vaccine dose card to the appointment so the booster shot can be recorded, or information about their primary vaccine series to receive a new vaccine card noting the booster dose.

Currently, patients with a registered Walgreens pharmacy account can access their vaccines records via the Walgreens website or mobile app.

Rock Island County reports three new deaths

The Rock Island County Health Department reports three additional deaths from COVID-19: a woman in her 90s who was living in a long-term-care facility; a man in his 80s who died at home; and a man in his 40s who was hospitalized. The total number of deaths is now 370.

“We send our sympathies to their loved ones,” said Nita Ludwig, administrator of the Rock Island County Health Department.

In addition, the health department reports 58 new cases of COVID-19 since its last report on Wednesday. The total number of cases is now 18,614. Currently, 26 patients are hospitalized in the county with the virus. The average age of newly infected patients is 39.

“We are starting to see some hopeful news, in regard to fewer daily cases and decreasing hospitalizations,” Ludwig said. “However, we can’t let up because of what we saw last fall with quickly rising cases and hospitalizations. Last fall and early winter’s case surge led to 171 deaths between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31.”

Henry and Stark County drive-up booster clinics

The Henry and Stark County Health Department will have drive-up Moderna Covid Booster Vaccination Clinics at Black Hawk College-East Campus.

The clinics will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 29, Nov. 2, Nov. 4 and 6 at East Campus, 26230 Black Hawk Road, Galva, Ill. No pre-registration is necessary. Participants simply need to come to the clinic date of their choice with a State Issued ID to receive the Moderna Covid booster. Participants must be 18 years or older and should bring their record of vaccination, if available. All persons in the vehicle must wear a mask while interacting with clinic staff.

“These clinics are being planned following the CDC’s recent approval of Moderna, Pfizer and J & J Covid vaccine boosters,” said Mat Schnepple, Director of Emergency Management. “We will be giving providing Moderna boosters at these clinics; as that was the vaccine we primarily administered at our previous Covid vaccination clinics.”

“People who received Moderna or Pfizer vaccines are eligible for a booster dose 6 months after the date of their 2nd Covid vaccine, and those who received the J & J vaccine are eligible for a booster 2 months after the date of their single dose vaccine,” he said.

The number of clinics held will be based on vaccine availability and are subject to change. Drive-Thru clinics and site limitations are necessary due to social distancing requirements, central location for entire service area, weather conditions, and the recommended wait time after receiving the vaccine.

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