Get COVID-19 booster, flu shot before holidays, Cook County health officials urge

The Boost Up campaign will run ads throughout suburban Cook County highlighting the triple-threat danger of COVID-19, the flu and RSV.

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The updated fall 2023 vaccine targets currently circulating strains of the virus and will be available to everyone at no cost, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Cook County officials are urging residents to get their COVID booster and seasonal flu vaccination ahead of the upcoming holidays.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times (file)

Cook County health officials Sunday announced a new awareness campaign aimed at getting suburban residents to stay up to date with their COVID and flu vaccinations ahead of the holiday season.

The Boost Up campaign will run a series of ads throughout suburban Cook County, according to a statement by the Cook County Department of Public Health.

“This message could not come at a better time,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “With the triple threat of COVID, seasonal flu and RSV looming, now is the best time to Boost Up, so you have full immunity before gathering with family and friends at Thanksgiving.”

Cook County Commissioner Scott Britton urged residents to get their COVID booster and flu vaccine at the same time.

“With winter on the horizon and more of us staying indoors, we must remain vigilant about our well-being. Get your double shot of health,” Britton said.

Officials also announced that 52 organizations have been awarded $8.4 million in Building Healthy Communities grant funding. The initiative provides various resources and programs to stop the spread of COVID-19 and augment other community needs.

“Throughout the COVID response, we have worked hard to engage, build and strengthen our relationships with trusted community partners that have their tentacles out in the communities and work directly with residents, including those at high risk, with low vaccination uptake,” said Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, chief operating officer of the county health department. 

Health experts have recommended getting flu shots earlier than usual as flu cases may climb to pre-pandemic levels this year.

There have been at least 3,823,905 cases of COVID-19 reported in Illinois since the start of the pandemic, and 35,289 deaths, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

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