Kane County Health Department urges vaccination and prevention following new variant of COVID Omicron

The Kane County Department of Health is urging residents to update their immunization status and take preventative measures to combat the spread of COVID and its variants.

This week, health officials identified Omicron as a new variant of the virus that causes COVID-19.

The Omicron variant has been detected in a growing number of countries, including the United States

Studies are underway to determine whether current vaccines are effective against this variant.

Although current vaccines may be less effective against the Omicron variant, vaccine availability is limited in many African countries, and South African officials report that most people are sick with the omicron variant n. ‘have not been vaccinated.

Vaccines remain widely available in the United States, and the Omicron variant is another reason to get vaccinated, be reminded if you are eligible, and wear a mask in indoor public places or in a crowded environment.

An updated list of more than 90 COVID-19 vaccine providers in Kane County is available online at KaneHealth.com.

The Kane Vax Hub at 501 N. Randall Street in Batavia is open Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon.

Eligible individuals are encouraged to make an appointment on KaneVax.org. Those requiring assistance with appointments are encouraged to call the Kane Vax line at 855-4-KANEVAX (855-452-6382).

All three COVID vaccines, Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen, are available to everyone at the Kane Vax Hub. To speed up the registration process, be sure to bring your vaccination record and a consent form for the vaccine you choose. Consent forms are available for download at KaneVax.org and KaneHealth.com.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends boosters for people 18 years of age and older who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at least 2 months ago. Booster shots are also recommended for people who received a Pfizer / Comirnaty or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months ago.

The CDC allows for mixing and matching of vaccine type. Those who received the primary dose of Janssen may be boosted by Janssen, Moderna or Pfizer / Comirnaty 2 months after their primary dose. Those who received the Moderna and Pfizer / Comirnaty primary series may be boosted by Janssen, Moderna or Pfizer / Comirnaty 6 months after their last dose.

People should talk to their health care provider about their condition and whether it is appropriate for them to receive an extra dose.

For more information and current updates on COVID-19, visit KaneHealth.com or call the health department at (630) 208-3801 and select the COVID line.