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The Kane County Health Department urges residents to update their vaccination status and take preventative measures to combat the spread of COVID and its variants.Last week, health officials identified Omicron as a new variant of the virus that causes COVID-19. The Omicron variant has been detected in a growing number of countries, including the United States.Studies are underway to determine if current vaccines are effective against this variant. While it is possible that current vaccines may be less effective against the Omicron variant, vaccine availability is limited in many African countries, and South African officials are reporting that most of the people there who are sick due to the omicron variant were not vaccinated. Vaccines remain widely available in the U.S. and the Omicron variant is yet another reason to get vaccinated, get a booster if you are eligible and wear a mask in indoor public settings or in a crowded environment.An updated list of more than 90 COVID-19 vaccine providers in Kane County is available online.The Kane Vax Hub at 501 N. Randall Street in Batavia is open Wednesdays from 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Eligible individuals are encouraged to make an appointment at KaneVax.org. People requiring assistance with appointments are encouraged to call the Kane Vax line at 855-4-KANEVAX (855-452-6382).All three COVID vaccines, Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen, are available to all at the Kane Vax Hub. To speed the check-in process, make sure to bring your vaccination card and a consent form for the vaccine you choose. Consent forms are available to download online.The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends boosters for individuals 18 and older who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at least two months ago. Booster shots are also recommended for people who received a Pfizer/Comirnaty or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months ago.The CDC allows for the mixing and matching of the type of vaccine. Those who received the Janssen primary dose may receive a booster of Janssen, Moderna or Pfizer/Comirnaty two months after their primary dose. Those who received the Moderna and Pfizer/Comirnaty primary series may receive a booster of Janssen, Moderna or Pfizer/Comirnaty six months after their last dose.People should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.For additional information and current updates about COVID-19, visit the Kane County Health Department website or call the health department at 630-208-3801 and select the COVID line.