COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions


Every week, the DuPage County Health Department will be sharing the most frequently asked questions about the coronavirus pandemic to help educate and inform county residents.

  1. COVID-19 Vaccine
  2. Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Program
  3. DuPage County COVID-19 Test Site
  4. Restaurants
  5. Resurgence Mitigation
  6. General
  7. Education
  8. Business/Workplace

COVID-19 Vaccine


DuPage County Health Department (DCHD)

Week of 1/15/21

When do I get my COVID-19 vaccine?

This depends on whether or not you fall under the Phase 1a, 1b, or 1c guidelines as listed here: DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) and healthcare providers in the community are currently vaccinating healthcare personnel as part of Phase 1a and anticipate moving to Phase 1b in the coming weeks. Once in Phase 1b, we estimate nearly 270,000 individuals in DuPage will become eligible. With this large of a group, it may take about 12 weeks for all Phase 1b individuals to be vaccinated. Because it will take time to get this many people vaccinated, we are urging patience from our residents while we continue working to deliver as many vaccinations as quickly as possible through both the DCHD and a network of partner providers in the community.

What should I do now?

Currently, DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) asks any individuals living, working, or attending college/university in DuPage and interested in learning more about opportunities to become vaccinated for COVID-19 to sign-up for our weekly updates at Signing up for these updates is not a registration for a vaccine. However, signing up allows DCHD to communicate with you efficiently as opportunities to become vaccinated by providers all over the county become available.

What is the Health Department’s plan for Phase 1b?

DuPage County Health Department is working with many different partners at all levels, including hospitals, healthcare providers, pharmacies, and community leaders to expand access to vaccine throughout numerous sites across DuPage County. Our goal is to make COVID-19 vaccine available in as many locations as possible as we prepare to move into Phase 1b in the coming weeks. As vaccine supply increases and additional vaccination sites become available, the Health Department expects the rate of vaccination will increase and more information will be available about the specific locations people will be able to go to schedule appointments for vaccine.

How much of the vaccine received in DuPage County has made it into people’s arms?

In the first four weeks of vaccination, DuPage County received 46,305 doses of vaccine, and 32,711 doses of vaccine were administered, which represents 71% of doses received being administered. Please note that not all received doses can be administered immediately as each week vaccinators must hold vaccine doses for upcoming appointments. Of the 32,711 doses administered in DuPage County as of January 11, DuPage County Health Department has administered 3,406 doses and other healthcare partners have administered 29,305 doses.

What are you doing to get people vaccinated more quickly?

The DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) is working diligently to increase the number of vaccines administered each week. Local healthcare partners are also planning and expanding additional opportunities. DCHD understands, very clearly, the need to expand the availability of the vaccine as the population to be vaccinated increases in Phase 1b. It will, even with the expansion, require patience and calm from our residents. We are working around the clock to ensure these efforts are successful and achieve high vaccine coverage levels across our communities.

cdc_logoCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

How is CDC working to make sure people want to and can get vaccinated once a COVID-19 vaccine is available?

CDC is working with partners across the country to make sure people have the information they need to be confident in deciding to get vaccinated. Key priorities for CDC are: 

  • Regularly sharing clear and accurate information with people to make sure they understand the risks and benefits of getting vaccinated and can make informed decisions.
  • Helping healthcare personnel feel confident in their decision to get a COVID-19 vaccine and helping healthcare providers answer their patients’ questions about the vaccine.
  • Engaging communities and individuals in an equitable and inclusive way to ensure that people have opportunities to ask questions and get clear, accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Easy access to COVID-19 vaccines is equally critical. CDC is working with public health, healthcare providers, and other partners to make sure people can easily get a COVID-19 vaccine and that cost is not a barrier.

Will there be enough vaccine for everyone?

Currently, two vaccines are authorized and recommended to prevent COVID-19 in the United States. To help guide decisions about how to distribute limited initial supplies of COVID-19 vaccine, CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices have published recommendations for which groups should be vaccinated first.  It is understandable how concerning this may be for people, especially for those who are at increased risk for serious illness from this virus and for their loved ones.

The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as large quantities are available. Several thousand vaccination providers will be available, including doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and federally qualified health centers.

How long will it take for COVID-19 vaccines to take effect?

The COVID-19 vaccine is expected to provide some protection a couple of weeks after your first shot and reaches its greatest effectiveness after your second shot. It is very important to take the second shot within the recommended time period for maximum vaccine effectiveness.

Note Opens in new windowClick for additional CDC FAQs

idph_logoIllinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)

When can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

The first supply of COVID-19 vaccine receiving Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began being distributed in the U.S. on December 14, 2020. Initial supplies of the vaccine will be limited, and therefore allocated to health care personnel and Long-term care (LTC) residents and staff. However, the vaccine supply will increase over time and all adults should be able to be vaccinated in 2021.

Where can I get the vaccine?

Initially, hospitals will provide COVID-19 vaccine to health care personnel. As more vaccine is distributed by the federal government, several thousand vaccination providers will be available, including but not limited to doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), across the state.

CDC is working with pharmacies to establish a system to offer on-site COVID-19 vaccination services to residents and staff in LTC settings, including skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities where most individuals are over 65 years of age.

Is a COVID-19 vaccine safe?

The U.S. vaccine safety system is a deliberate and multi-phase process to ensure all vaccines are as safe as possible. Safety is a top priority. Vaccine candidates conduct clinical trials with many thousands of study participants to generate scientific data and other information for the FDA to determine their safety and effectiveness.

If the FDA determines a vaccine meets its safety and effectiveness standards, it can make these vaccines available for use in the U.S. by approval or Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). After the FDA makes its determination, ACIP will review the available data in order to make vaccine recommendations to the CDC. ACIP will then recommend vaccine use. After a vaccine is authorized or approved for use, vaccine safety monitoring systems will watch for adverse events (possible side effects). CDC is working to expand safety surveillance through

Can the COVID-19 vaccine cause me to become infected or infect others?

No, you cannot become infected or infect others from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, because the vaccine contains no live virus. Instead, the vaccine directs your body to produce a protein that teaches your body how to fight off the virus.

Do I have to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

There is no federal or state mandate to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC recommends the vaccine to all Americans 16 and over.

Can my employer require that I receive a COVID-19 vaccine before returning to work?

Decisions regarding immunization at private workplaces are up to the employer.

Note Opens in new windowClick for additional IDPH FAQs

Last Updated: 1/15/21