It’s flu and COVID season again and you shouldn’t throw away your shot.

Every U.S. household can order four free at-home COVID-19 tests by mail. Order at The Rock Island County Health Department (2112 25th Ave., Rock Island) has a limited number of test kits available for pickup Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. while supplies last. Limit of two per household. Results are known in 30 minutes for these tests.

COVID-19 vaccine

This vaccine rollout is different from previous ones because of the end of the National Public Health Emergency Declaration in May, according to RICHD interim administrator Janet Hill. The new vaccine now is being sent through normal healthcare supply channels – and not purchased by the federal government for distribution through the public health system and healthcare partners. Public health is secondary in this distribution system.

The Rock Island County Health Department has ordered private-pay Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, but they still don’t have them on hand, Hill said Tuesday. The last communication they received from the nationwide supplier was Thursday, and the company said it is starting to see supply come in, she said.

You can check for appointments and supply availability.

When vaccines arrive, RICHD will offer Moderna on Tuesday and Pfizer on Fridays by appointment only. Once COVID vaccines arrive, call 309-794-7080 to make an appointment. Please bring your COVID-19 vaccination and insurance cards to your appointment.

The health department will bill your health insurance. It is the patient’s responsibility to determine coverage with your insurance company with the health department as an authorized site, Hill said. Medicare Part B and Illinois Medicaid will pay for the COVID vaccine.

“We expect that insurance patients will have no out-of-pocket costs, but individual policies could vary,” she said. Please check with your insurance company to prevent surprise charges.

CVS COVID vaccination

The health department also has enrolled in programs that will pay for both flu and COVID vaccines for those who are underinsured and uninsured. Supplies are limited.

Everyone 6 months and older is encouraged to get this COVID vaccine.

Flu vaccine

Walk-in flu vaccination clinics on Tuesdays through Oct. 31 from 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. at the health department, 2112 25th Ave., Rock Island. No appointments are necessary for those age 12 and older. Children ages 6 months to 11 years old require appointments because of the extra care those appointments require.

There is no out-of-pocket expense to those with Medicare Part B or an Illinois Medicaid card. Most Blue Cross, UnitedHealth Care, Health Alliance, Aetna, Coventry/First Health, HFN, HealthLink, and Humana insurance plans are accepted.

Syringes with vaccines are prepared at the L.A. Care and Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plans’ Community Resource Center where they were offering members and the public free flu and COVID-19 vaccines Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, in Lynwood, Calif. The U.S. is poised to make COVID-19 vaccinations more like a yearly flu shot, a major shift in strategy despite a long list of questions about how to best protect against a still rapidly mutating virus. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Please bring all insurance cards with you to the clinic. Insurance coverages change frequently, so please check with your insurance carrier to make sure your flu shot is covered. For those not using insurance, the cost is $35. High-dose vaccines for seniors are $66 without insurance. Visa and Mastercard will be accepted. For more information, call the health department at 309-794-7080.

Everyone 6 months and older can get the flu vaccine.