New COVID vaccine boosters available in Cook County starting in late September
Joe Friedrichs

New COVID vaccine boosters available in Cook County starting in late September

New COVID-19 vaccine boosters will be available in Cook County starting Sept. 29 as local pandemic numbers remain relatively low heading into a new school year and the beginning of autumn.

Registration for the vaccine events are now available on the county’s COVID-19 hub website.

Three vaccine events will take place at the Cook County Community Center in Grand Marais starting on Sept. 29, with two events also scheduled for early October, according to Cook County Public Health Supervisor Grace Grinager, who spoke Sept. 9 on WTIP’s Daybreak program about the new vaccine boosters. The other events are Oct. 4 and 6.

The new boosters are combination shots that contain half the original vaccine that’s been used since December 2020 and half protection against today’s dominant omicron versions. It’s the first update to COVID-19 vaccines ever cleared by the Food and Drug Administration.

Updated shots made by Pfizer are authorized for anyone 12 and older, and rival Moderna’s version is for adults. They’re to be used as a booster for anyone who’s already had their primary vaccination series — using shots from any U.S.-cleared company — and regardless of how many boosters they’ve already gotten.

Cook County public health officials reported nine new cases of COVID-19 among local residents in a report released Sept. 8. Four local residents have died from complications of the virus since the start of the pandemic.

The new vaccines were tested only on mice ahead of their release to the public, according to state health officials, who noted that the new COVID-19 boosters appear safe and as good or better than older versions.

For those hoping to get a vaccine booster sooner, appointments for the updated COVID-19 vaccine booster will be available at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, the Minnesota Department of Health announced yesterday. Booster vaccines will be administered starting Sunday, Sept. 11.  The DECC will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays and noon to 7 p.m. Mondays.