The new vaccines, just approved by the FDA and CDC, are arriving at pharmacies this week.
Chicago Public Health Director Dr. Allison Arwady says the new booster vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are headed to the city right now, and more than 150,000 doses should be available at 170 pharmacies across Chicago by the end of the week.
"We need an updated vaccine because we're seeing a lot more people get re-infected," Arwady said at a city hall news conference. "People who had Covid in the past are getting Covid again."
The booster is effective against the original Covid strain as well as the now predominant BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants that account for 99 percent of the Covid cases across the country.
"So this gives us a chance to get ahead of the virus," said Arwady. "If we can get a lot of people protected right now from the variant that's circulating, we'll see fewer transmissions and hopefully less emergence of new strains."
Anyone 12 and older is eligible to get the Pfizer booster, and anyone 18 and older is eligible for Moderna.
But — you must already have had the primary series of vaccines to get the new booster.
"And unlike last time, it's open to anybody who is 12 years and older," said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. "There's no prioritization. We just want people to get this new booster."
A vial of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. (Youngrae Kim/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images / Getty Images)
The Chicago Department of Public Health will also have doses available at neighborhood clinics and for its at-home vaccination program.
Right now, 77 percent of the city's population is fully vaccinated — but Arwady warns against Covid fatigue.
"Please don't think this is just more Covid news. 'I'm really tired of Covid, I don't need to do anything.' We need Chicago to get this updated vaccine. It's new. It's different, and it will give better protection than what we've had previously," said Arwady.