How can I get a COVID-19 Vaccine?
I want to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine.
For the most up-to-date information about current COVID-19 vaccine safety, distribution, eligibility, age restrictions, doses, timelines, and/or special cases, please visit the CDC's official website by clicking here!
Do you have unanswered COVID-19 vaccine related questions? Do you need help registering for a COVID-19 vaccine? The DuPage County Health Department has set up a hotline to answer any and all of your COVID-19 vaccine related questions. Please call them at (630) 682-7400 and a representative will assist you. For more details about the COVID-19 vaccine hotline, click here!
Frequently Asked Questions
COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus, which is a type of virus. There are other types of coronaviruses, and people were already working on vaccines for other coronaviruses, which gave them a head start. With millions of lives at stake, companies, governments, and universities from every country worked together and used the most advanced technology to quickly develop a vaccine.
Different companies took different approaches to creating the COVID-19 vaccine, which is good because this increased the chance that at least one of the vaccines would end up working. If multiple companies make COVID-19 vaccines, this means there will be more vaccines to give to people.
A COVID-19 vaccine is currently available to anyone age 5 and older. At this time, children aged 5-12 are only eligible to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. However, anyone at or above the age of 18 can receive any of the three COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J).
Tens of thousands of people volunteered for clinical trials to find out whether the vaccines are safe and effective at protecting people from COVID-19. These trials included racially and ethnically diverse people. Volunteers are followed closely for at least two months after receiving the vaccine to monitor their health before the vaccine can be used for the general public. Any negative reactions to a vaccine would most likely happen within that period. The volunteers are also observed long-term to monitor for any other problems. The results of the trials were reviewed by experts, companies that are making the vaccine, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Clinical trials began earlier this year, and the vaccine is reported to be about 90% effective in both children and adults.
The most common side effect is soreness where the shot was given, which goes away quickly on its own. Other mild side effects are muscle pain, fever, fatigue, headache, and joint pain. Minor side effects are a sign that your body is starting to build immunity (protection) against a disease. Severe side effects are rare.
Mild fever is a common side effect of many vaccinations, like the flu vaccine. It does not mean you will have COVID-19. A mild fever, along with muscle soreness, fatigue, and other symptoms, are often a part of your body’s training to fight off COVID-19.
The government has promised the vaccine will be provided to people in the United States for free. Providers giving the vaccine can charge an administration fee, but these fees can be reimbursed by the patient’s insurance or Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) if they do not have insurance.
Yes, you can! The CDC guidelines currently state that both vaccines can be administered at the same visit. However, it is important that vaccine scheduling guidelines are followed for each vaccine type. If you have not gotten your recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, get one as soon as possible, and aim to get your flu vaccine by the end of October.
If you don’t trust the vaccine right away, it is understandable. To protect yourself, wear a mask, continue to maintain social distancing from those you don’t live with, and wash your hands often!
Why Should I Get a Booster Shot/Additional Dose?
Continued research about the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus strains, and effectiveness of existing vaccines has determined that effectiveness of the vaccine doses (or dose for J&J) declines after a period of time. In order to maintain full effectiveness and continue to stay protected against COVID-19, it is recommended that all people ages 5 and up who received their second vaccine dose (of Pfizer or Moderna) at least six months ago OR received the J&J vaccine at least two months ago, receive a COVID-19 booster shot. At this time, adults (18+) may receive ANY of the three vaccine booster shots, regardless of the vaccine type you were fully vaccinated with. This means that, for example, a person who received the J&J vaccine can receive a Moderna booster shot. Please note that children (5-17) are currently only eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine and booster doses. Furthermore, it is currently recommended that those ages 50 and older receive a second booster dose at least four months after receiving their first.
In addition, people with some underlying medical conditions that cause them to be moderately or severely immunocompromised are eligible to receive an additional dose of the primary series of the COVID-19 vaccine, as their underlying condition may increase their risk of having severe disease from COVID-19. For more information about who qualifies for an additional dose, please click here.
Racial Equity and the COVID-19 Vaccine
Black and brown communities are being disproportionally affected by COVID-19, with higher rates of infection and poorer health outcomes than their white peers. Since vaccine hesitancy could further these health disparities, it is important to understand why some people may be reluctant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. We are working closely with community partners to serve these marginalized communities and promote vaccine confidence. We are also working to help the patients we serve get vaccinations if they qualify.
Click here to view recent community events promoting vaccine confidence:
Illinois COVID-19 Vaccination Data
Vaccines are now readily available for all people ages 5 and up. Click the buttons below to learn what’s happening now:
We would love to answer your questions about the COVID-19 Vaccine! (Facebook Live)
We recently held a Facebook Live entirely in Spanish – it has been reuploaded with English translations. We would love for you to check it out below! Hear what the experts have to say. Learn from: