Vaccine Booster FAQs


Yes. According to current CDC guidance, individuals who have completed a primary series of vaccine (one shot of J&J or two shots of Pfizer or Moderna) and are more than 2 weeks after completion, are still considered fully vaccinated.

The initial vaccine series remains effective in reducing the likelihood of infection and preventing severe illness, hospitalization, or death among those infected. The purpose of a booster is to “boost” antibody protection back up when it has decreased over time.

No. COVID-19 vaccines are working well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. However, public health experts are starting to see reduced protection, especially among certain populations, against mild and moderate disease.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech booster shots on September 22, 2021. The FDA and CDC continue to review data to determine whether and when a booster might be recommended for recipients of the Moderna and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccines.

Yes, the booster is free. You do not need to present payment or have health insurance.

Current data indicates that side effects following the additional dose are similar to those after the second dose. Common side effects are generally mild such as localized pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, and fatigue, headache, and low-grade fever. Serious adverse events are rare.

Yes. Flu vaccines are recommended for everyone and can be given during the same visit for COVID-19 vaccination.

If you do not remember the brand, please check your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card, or request the information from the location that you received your initial COVID-19 vaccine.

If you have your vaccine card it is helpful so that your booster dose can be added to it, but you do not need to show your CDC vaccination card to get your booster. Your vaccinator may choose to look up your vaccine records to confirm the right type of vaccine for your booster.

Latest News

COVID-19 Testing Update

Due to critical shortages of supplies, St. Margaret’s Health is no longer testing walk-in patients for COVID-19; a physician’s order



Pertaining to COVID-19 Testing:

Due to critical shortages of supplies, St. Margaret’s Health is no longer testing walk-in patients for COVID-19; a physician’s order IS REQUIRED. If you have been exposed to COVID-19, please isolate at home, wear a mask and IF symptoms develop, contact your physician to request an order to be tested.

Having symptoms? In order to be tested for COVID-19, Influenza (Flu), Strep, RSV, or to receive a Respiratory Array test, patients MUST have a doctor’s order. Contact your medical care provider. Please DO NOT visit the testing center in Spring Valley without a physician’s order, OR visit an Emergency Department for testing.

There are many sites throughout the Illinois Valley that are still currently testing without physician’s orders, although appointments may be required.  Please refer to local pharmacies and health departments websites, or visit for more information.

Thank you!

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