The Effingham County Health Department received confirmation of another COVID-related death of a county resident. The individual was in their 80s and vaccinated.

This brings the total number of confirmed deaths since the start of the pandemic to 99.

The department also announced 37 new positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported Friday through Sunday. Those testing positive range in age from infant to 90s.

Illinois Region 6 seven-day test positivity rate was 3.6% through Oct. 22, while Effingham County was 5.5% for the same period.

The Moderna and the J&J boosters have now been approved by CDC and IDPH. The Effingham County Health Department is making plans to start Booster Clinics the week commencing Monday, Nov. 1. These clinics have not yet been finalized. There will be no waitlists for these clinics, so the department asks those interested not to call the health department about them this week. The clinics will be announced once they are finalized.

A booster dose is different from the third dose. To be eligible for the booster dose of Moderna and Pfizer, you need to be:

• 65 years and older and a resident in a long-term care setting

• Aged 50–64 with underlying medical conditions

• Aged 18–49 with underlying medical conditions based on individual benefits and risks

• Aged 18-64 and at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting based on benefits and risks.

Booster shots are to be at least six months after a primary series of Pfizer or Moderna.

For individuals who received Johnson & Johnson, booster shots are recommended for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago.

A final reminder that third doses are for the immunocompromised. This means individuals who have:

• Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood

• Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system

• Received a stem cell transplant within the last two years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system

• Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)

• Advanced or untreated HIV infection

• Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

People should talk to their health care provider about their medical condition and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.

COVID vaccine appointments can be booked at www.effcohealth.org.

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