The Rock Island County Health Department finally has a limited supply of Pfizer COVID vaccine, but the department has not received Moderna vaccines for ages 12 and older, according to a Thursday release.
Starting Thursday, Oct. 5, the department will make available up to 35 appointments for Friday, Oct. 6 Pfizer clinics, and an additional about 35 appointments for the Oct. 13 Pfizer clinic.
Further clinics will be scheduled as supply allows. Walk-in clinics have been suspended because of the extremely limited supply. Please call 309-794-7080 to make an appointment.
Please bring your COVID-19 vaccination and insurance cards to your appointment. The clinics are located at the health department, 2112 25th Ave., Rock Island.
“We understand that there is a great demand for the new COVID-19 vaccines,” said Janet Hill, interim administrator of the Rock Island County Health Department. “We ask for your patience and understanding until our vaccine supply increases. We do not have control over how much vaccine is sent to us and when and what brand of vaccine arrives.
“We expect this to be a relatively short-term problem as manufacturers ramp up their production,” she said Thursday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) issued the following guidelines to be considered up to date on the COVID-19 vaccine:
• Everyone aged 5 years and older: You are up to date when you get one updated COVID vaccine.
• Children aged 6 months to 4 years: You are up to date when you get all recommended doses, including at least one dose of updated COVID vaccine.
• People who received the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID vaccine: You are up to date when you get one updated vaccine. The CDC recommends getting whichever COVID vaccine brand that is available to you, even if the brand of the vaccine is different from original series or subsequent boosters. The mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) can be “mixed and matched.”
The department also has some supply for children ages 6 months and older. Appointments for children younger than 12 will be offered on Wednesdays: Pfizer in the morning and Moderna in the afternoon. The department has received a small supply of Moderna vaccine for children who qualify for the federal Vaccines for Children program.
At this time, they have no Moderna vaccines for those 12 and older or for children who have private insurance. COVID vaccines no longer are being provided for free from the federal government.
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. Medicare Part B and Illinois Medicaid will pay for the COVID vaccine.\
The department expects that insurance patients will have no out-of-pocket costs, but individual policies could vary. The health department also has enrolled in programs that will pay for COVID vaccines for those who are underinsured and uninsured. Supplies are limited.
Please call 309-794-7080 to make an appointment.
In addition to the beginning of the fall COVID vaccines push, the health department is offering walk-in flu clinics on Tuesdays through Oct. 31. Hours are 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. 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 children sometimes need. Everyone 6 months and older is recommended to get the seasonal flu vaccine.
The flu season typically begins in October and peaks between December and March.
“We’ve been talking for almost three years about the importance of getting vaccinated to ward off severe COVID-19 infection, and it’s just as important to get you annual flu vaccine for the same reasons,” Hill said. “Vaccines do an excellent job at preventing serious illness. Getting a flu vaccine takes a case from wild to mild.”
Additional flu clinics have been scheduled at other county locations, including:
• Oct. 12 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at South Rock Island Township offices, 4330 11th St., Rock Island,
• Oct. 16 from 9:30-11:30 a.m., Cordova Township offices, 910 3rd Ave. South, Cordova.
There is no out-of-pocket cost 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. 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. Both the flu and COVID vaccines also are available at our healthcare and pharmacy partners. To find locations and appointment times, visit vaccines.gov.