Chicago Prepares for Cold Season with Updated COVID, Flu and RSV Vaccines

COVID-19 infection rates in Chicago are relatively low. Still, medical experts expect those numbers to rise in the coming months as the weather turns colder and people gather indoors during the holidays. 

Though COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates remain low across the city, the South and West Sides have relatively higher numbers than other parts of the city, and Black and Brown communities are still disproportionately impacted. 

On Monday, the Chicago Department of Public Health organized a virtual roundtable to inform the media about the updated vaccines available for COVID-19, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and the Flu.

Here is everything you need to know about the updated vaccines that will be made available for the insured, underinsured and those with no insurance. 

Why Should People Get the Updated COVID-19, Flu and RSV Vaccines?

“Vaccines are still the most effective way to prevent hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19,” said Dr. Jacqueline Tiema-Massie, Immunization Program Director/Director of Public Health Operations for CDPH. 

Dr. Brian Borah, Medical Director for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Surveillance at the Chicago Department of Public Health, emphasized, “We do expect activity and all three of these viruses to increase in the coming weeks and months. Again, as the weather gets colder, as behavior changes, as we have holiday celebrations and come together with our families and friends.”

So these are, you know, reasons to be prepared for the upcoming respiratory season and, most importantly, to get all the vaccines available to you for which you’re eligible.  

Dr. Borah also explained that the updated COVID-19 vaccines can fight the new emerging variants better. 

“Almost exclusively, the variants that are circulating are all descendants of the Omicron variants, which this new COVID-19 vaccine is built to protect against,” Dr. Borah said, “So we have very good evidence that these new vaccines will cover the variants that are in circulation right now in Chicago and in the United States regardless of how many mutations they have.”

Who Should Receive the COVID-19, Flu and RSV vaccines?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chicago Department of Public Health urges the following: 

  • Everyone 6 months and older is encouraged to receive the updated COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Everyone 6 months and older is also urged to receive the annual flu shot.
  • Adults ages 60+, pregnant, or parents of an infant are urged to check with a doctor to determine if an RSV vaccine is right for them or their child.

Who Has Access to Vaccines?

Everyone can gain access to vaccines, whether they have private or public insurance (Medicare/Medicaid), are underinsured or have no insurance.

  • If you have private insurance, visit your pharmacy or doctor’s office. Remember to bring your insurance card; the provider must submit a claim to your insurer. 
  • If you have public insurance, visit your pharmacy or doctor’s office. Remember to bring your Medicare/Medicaid card with you, as the provider will need it for insurance claim submission.
  • If you have no insurance, you can go to a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) to receive a no-cost vaccine. To find an FQHC offering no-cost vaccines, visit (you are advised to call ahead to ensure they have the vaccine) or contact the City’s Hotline at 312.746.4835.
  • If you have no insurance, CDPH Immunization Clinics is another option.
    • For CDPH Immunization centers, 
      • Walk-ins are welcome, but registration is highly encouraged.
      • You can register for an appointment at or call 312.745.1477
      • For assistance, email
      • Annual family COVID/Flu vaccination clinics
    • Select pharmacies offer no-cost vaccines through the CDC Bridge Access Program. Visit (English) or (en español) and check for the Bridge Access Program.
    • The City of Chicago will also host vaccine events at Chicago City Colleges starting October 21 through December. 

For more information on COVID-19 resources, visit

About Post Author


From the Web

Skip to content