News from the Reference Desk Category: Health

New Web Resource: ConsumerLab is the leading provider of independent test results and information to help consumers and healthcare professionals identify the best quality health and nutrition products. It publishes results of its tests in comprehensive reports at Since its founding in 1999, ConsumerLab has tested more than 6,600 products, representing over 950 different brands and nearly every type of popular supplement for adults, children, and pets.

DIY Research: Health Information

magnifying glass magnifying the word research

As anyone who has ever googled their symptoms can tell you, there is no shortage of medical information available on the internet. However, good sources with clear, authoritative information can be difficult to find among the search results. As with all information found online, medical information should be approached with a critical eye.  

The Research Desk gets many requests from patrons looking for health information. Below are some trusted resources for evidence-based health information. All of these resources are government-funded websites, so they do not contain any ads or commercial content. 

With general health questions, from the National Library of Medicine is a great place to start. Consult MedlinePlus for information about a diagnosis, upcoming test or screening, drugs and supplements, genetics, and variety of general health topics. The site is also available in Spanish

Drug information is compiled by the National Library of Medicine on the Drug Information Portal. Find detailed information about drug uses, common names, potential side effects, effects on breastfeeding, and more. presents information from the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion from the Department of Health and Human Services about health and wellness. The site includes helpful fact sheets and evidence-based information on preventative care. 

Health Information from the National Institutes of Health features well-organized and research information on a variety of health and wellness topics. is a database about privately and publicly funded clinical trials. 

With questions about accessing any of these resources, please contact the Research Desk to request a reference appointment.    

Open Enrollment for the ACA Marketplace is open. Sign up for health insurance today

Open Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Health Insurance Marketplace is now available and will run through January 15, 2022.  Visit Get Covered Illinois to learn if you are eligible for health insurance through the ACA Marketplace, find a local assister to help with the enrollment process and more.  

To enroll in health insurance through the ACA Marketplace, visit

More health resources offers free, short online courses that introduce how to enroll in health insurance using or finding health information online provides the latest health information direct to consumers from the National Library of Medicine. 

MyHealthFinder presents evidence-based information on preventative care. 

Who Can Get a Booster Shot?

nullThere has been a lot of information in the media concerning the COVID vaccine booster shot.  It can be difficult to get a clear picture of who is eligible and what kind of shot is available.  Based on the information from the CDC, Walgreens recently posted a short list of answers to these important questions.  Here is the basic information you need to know:

Who is eligible and when?  

The CDC recommends a booster dose for fully vaccinated people who received their second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months ago.  Health and eligibility requirements include:

  • Ages 65+
  • Long-term care facility residents ages 18+
  • Individuals ages 50-64 with underlying medical conditions*
  • Individuals ages 18-49 with underlying medical conditions*, based on individual benefit and risk
  • Individuals ages 18-64 who are at an increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupation or institutional setting, such as healthcare and essential workers, based on individual benefit and risk
  • *See this webpage from the CDC for additional information

Why should I get a booster?

Like with many vaccines, immunity can decrease over time. A booster shot is designed to continue providing longer-term protection and reduce risk of hospitalization.

What if I got the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

Right now, boosters are only recommended for patients who completed their Pfizer vaccine series and meet the current eligibility criteria. Updates on a Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shot will be provided in the future.


It is always good practice to consult your doctor about this or any other medical issue. For additional information about the COVID vaccine booster shot please see this CDC webpage.


COVID-19 Vaccination Information Update

doctor holding vaccine vialThe topic of COVID-19 vaccination is a complex and rapidly changing one.  To better understand what vaccines are available and where to register for one, please consult the websites listed below.

General vaccine information compiled by the Mount Prospect Village can be seen here.

To learn general information about vaccines in the Cook County area please go to this site

Suburban Cook County residents can register to receive the vaccines by going to this site.

Residents of the City of Chicago can register for vaccines here.

The vaccine registration hotline for Cook County is 1-833-308-1988; 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday. 

If you are looking for vaccination locations, please go to this site prepared by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

On March 22, 2021 (in English) and March 29, 2021 (in Spanish), the Mount Prospect Public Library and the Village of Mount Prospect are co-hosting virtual presentations about the COVID-19 vaccines.  These programs are informational only and will focus on the vaccines themselves–which ones are available, how they work and what their effects may be.  If you would like to register for the English presentation, please go here.  If you would like to register for the Spanish presentation, please go here.