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COVID-19 Vaccine


Frequently Asked Questions

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DuPage County Health Department (DCHD)


Week of 11/19/2021

Should people get a seasonal flu shot? Will the seasonal flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine interact in harmful ways?


It is more important than ever to protect against influenza, which, like COVID-19, is a respiratory illness. Vaccination for the flu is critical to help reduce the overall impact of respiratory illnesses on the general population and lower the resulting burden on the healthcare system during the pandemic.

Source: https://publichealthcollaborative.org/faq/

Are booster shots the same formulation as existing vaccines?


Yes. COVID-19 booster shots are the same formulation as the current COVID-19 vaccines. However, in the case of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, it is half the dose of the vaccine people get for their initial series.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html

Week of 11/12/2021

Which vaccine should my child get?


Anyone who is eligible should get whichever vaccine is available to them. COVID-19 vaccines are free, whether or not you have health insurance. Right now, the only COVID-19 vaccine available for children in the U.S. is the Pfizer BioNTech mRNA vaccine. Two separate doses are given 21 days apart. The COVID shot for children 5 years to 11 years of age is a lower dose than the dose recommended for people 12 years and older.

Source: https://healthychildren.org/English/tips-tools/ask-the-pediatrician/Pages/when-can-children-get-the-COVID-19-vaccine.aspx 

If my child had COVID-19 already, do they need the vaccine?


Yes, the vaccine will help protect your child from getting COVID again. Plus, getting fully vaccinated will help prevent serious illness or hospitalization if they do get infected again with SARS-C0V-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Watch this video to learn more reasons why it's important for everyone in your family to get the COVID vaccine once they are eligible.

Source: https://healthychildren.org/English/tips-tools/ask-the-pediatrician/Pages/If-my-child-had-COVID-do-they-need-the-vaccine.aspx

Week of 11/5/2021

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for children?


Yes. Keeping children safe and healthy is top of mind for parents, and scientists have worked to ensure the vaccine is safe for children ages 5-17. Before being authorized for children, scientists and medical experts completed their review of safety and effectiveness data from clinical trials of thousands of children. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was rigorously tested and reviewed, and more than 11 million adolescents ages 12-17 have already received the COVID-19 vaccine. As of November 2, the Pfizer vaccine is also authorized for children ages 5-11.

Data from trials will continue to be collected for two years after each vaccine is first administered to ensure that they are safe for the long term. As with all vaccines, there will be ongoing monitoring among people who are vaccinated.

Source: https://publichealthcollaborative.org/faq/

Will children experience any side effects from the vaccine?


I've heard about myocarditis? Side effects to the COVID-19 vaccines are typically mild and subside in one to two days — like soreness in the arm, fatigue, headaches, or a slight fever.

 The risk of a child having a serious adverse reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine is very low. One rare complication that has been linked to the COVID-19 vaccine is myocarditis (inflammation of the heart), and data demonstrate a higher risk for such inflammation among younger males. However, reports of these complications are rare. The risk of developing myocarditis after a COVID-19 infection is much higher than the risk of developing myocarditis after the vaccine.

If you have questions about how to protect your children from COVID-19, about the vaccines, or about myocarditis, speak to your health care provider or pediatrician.

Source: https://publichealthcollaborative.org/faq/

Why should children get the COVID-19 vaccine?


Medical and public health experts, including the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend that children and adolescents age 5 and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect them from contracting and spreading the virus.

The vaccine is the best way to protect children from becoming severely ill or having long-lasting health impacts due to COVID-19. COVID-19 has become one of the top 10 causes of pediatric death, and tens of thousands of children and teens have been hospitalized with COVID-19. While children and adolescents are typically at lower risk than adults of becoming severely ill or hospitalized from COVID-19, it is still possible.

Another important reason for children to get the COVID-19 vaccine is to protect their friends, family, and the broader community from the spread of the virus. As vaccination rates increase, the lower the chances that the coronavirus will mutate into dangerous variants.

Source: https://publichealthcollaborative.org/faq/

Week of 10/29/2021

Can I mix and match my COVID-19 vaccine and booster?


Yes. The CDC’s clinical guidance advises people to get the same booster as their initial vaccine but allows people to mix and match if they have a different preference. Mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines refers to getting a different COVID-19 booster than the initial vaccine (e.g. getting a Pfizer booster after the Moderna vaccine or a Moderna booster after the J&J vaccine). People who are eligible can get a booster shot with any available COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of whether they received the J&J, Moderna, or Pfizer vaccine for their initial dose(s).

If you have questions about your eligibility for booster doses or which booster you should get, speak to your health care provider.

Source: https://publichealthcollaborative.org/faq/  

What side effects do children experience from the vaccine?


Children may experience mild side effects, such as soreness in the arm, fatigue, headache, or a slight fever, and most will pass in one to two days. These are signs that their body is building immunity, but even if they don’t experience any side effects, their immune system is still building protection against the virus. Serious side effects are rare and treatable.

Source: https://publichealthcollaborative.org/faq/ 

Should children, teachers, and staff wear masks?


The CDC recommends that all students, teachers, and staff at K-12 schools wear masks to protect children and the community against the spread of COVID-19. Along with COVID-19 vaccination, mask-wearing can play an important role in ending the pandemic. Especially in schools where children under 12 can’t yet get vaccinated, masks are a critical line of defense against the spread of COVID-19.

Data shows that wearing masks in schools is effective in preventing COVID-19 outbreaks and keeping children safe. A CDC study found that schools without mask requirements were 3.5 times more likely to have COVID-19 outbreaks than schools that started the fall 2021 school year with mask requirements. In another analysis of 520 U.S. counties, the CDC found that in places where schools did not have mask requirements, pediatric COVID-19 cases rose at a higher rate than in counties where schools do require masks.

Source: https://publichealthcollaborative.org/faq/

Week of 10/22/2021

Can the COVID-19 vaccine cause variants?


COVID-19 vaccines do not create or cause variants of the virus that causes COVID-19.

New variants of a virus happen because the virus that causes COVID-19 constantly changes through a natural ongoing process of mutation (change). Even before the COVID-19 vaccines, there were several variants of the virus. Looking ahead, variants are expected to continue to emerge as the virus continues to change.

COVID-19 vaccines can help prevent new variants from emerging. As it spreads, the virus has more opportunities to change. High vaccination coverage in a population reduces the spread of the virus and helps prevent new variants from emerging. CDC recommends that everyone 12 years of age and older get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html

Why do mask requirements differ at the local and state level, and among different businesses, workplaces and schools?


The authority for making mask requirements most often resides at the state and local level. The CDC issues recommendations and guidance to help inform policy decisions made at the local levels. Mask requirements often take into account local transmission levels of COVID-19 and may differ across businesses, employers, and schools.

Source: https://publichealthcollaborative.org/faq/

Why has the guidance on masks changed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic?


Public health officials and scientists are continuing to learn about how this virus spreads, how it affects different people, and how best to control it. As the science and the virus evolves, so do the policies and recommendations. Public health officials are committed to providing accurate and timely updated guidance when new information becomes available.
 
Source: https://publichealthcollaborative.org/faq/

Week of 10/15/2021

How do I know the COVID-19 vaccines are safe?


The COVID-19 vaccines have received the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history, which has allowed public health officials to make science-based recommendations that keep people safe.

All COVID-19 vaccines have been rigorously tested and reviewed. The vaccine’s clinical trials three-phase.

Source: https://publichealthcollaborative.org/faq/ 

How long does protection from a COVID-19 vaccine last?


It’s not yet known how long COVID-19 vaccine protection lasts. Recent studies show that protection against the virus may decrease over time. This reduction in protection has led the CDC to recommend certain groups get a booster shot at least 6 months after completing their initial vaccination series.


Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html 

Week of 10/8/2021

When can I get a COVID-19 vaccine booster if I am NOT in one of the recommended groups?


Additional populations may be recommended to receive a booster shot as more data become available. The COVID-19 vaccines approved and authorized in the United States continue to be effective at reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death. Experts are looking at all available data to understand how well the vaccines are working for different populations. This includes looking at how new variants, like Delta, affect vaccine effectiveness.

Am I still considered “fully vaccinated” if I don’t get a booster shot?


Yes. Everyone is still considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a 2-shot series, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the J&J/Janssen vaccine.

Source: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html#FAQs

Week of 10/1/2021

What should people who received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) vaccine do?

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and CDC’s recommendations are bound by what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authorization external allows. At this time, the Pfizer-BioNTech booster authorization only applies to people whose primary series was Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. People in the recommended groups who got the Moderna or J&J/Janssen vaccine will likely need a booster shot. More data on the effectiveness and safety of Moderna and J&J/Janssen booster shots are expected soon. With those data in hand, CDC will keep the public informed with a timely plan for Moderna and J&J/Janssen booster shots.

Am I still considered “fully vaccinated” if I don’t get a booster shot?


Yes. Everyone is still considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a 2-shot series, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the J&J/Janssen vaccine.

Is it safe for me to get a flu shot and COVID-19 shot at the same time?


Yes. Flu vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time.

Source: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html#FAQs

Week of 9/24/2021

Can people who received Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine get a booster dose of an mRNA vaccine?

No, there aren’t enough data currently to support getting an mRNA vaccine dose (either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) if someone has previously gotten a J&J/Janssen vaccine. People who got the J&J/Janssen vaccine will likely need a booster dose of the J&J/Janssen vaccine, and more data are expected in the coming weeks. With those data in hand, CDC will keep the public informed with a timely plan for J&J/Janssen booster shots.

If we need a booster dose, does that mean that the vaccines aren’t working?


No. COVID-19 vaccines are working very well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. However, with the Delta variant, public health experts are starting to see reduced protection against mild and moderate disease. For that reason, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is planning for a booster shot so vaccinated people maintain protection over the coming months.

Week of 9/17/2021

Is the newly FDA-approved Cominarty different than the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine? Why did the name change?


Comirnaty is the new name for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Once a drug or other intervention receives FDA approval the manufacturer typically gives it a brand name, and Comirnaty is the brand name that Pfizer has chosen for its COVID-19 vaccine. It is the exact same vaccine as the one that was first authorized for use in December 2020, which we have come to know as the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine, with the same high degree of safety and effectiveness.

How long do I need to wait after getting another vaccine before getting a COVID-19 vaccine?


You can get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines at the same visit. You no longer need to wait 14 days between vaccinations. Experience with other vaccines has shown that the way our bodies develop protection, known as an immune response, after getting vaccinated and possible side effects of vaccines are generally the same when given alone or with other vaccines.

Week of 9/10/2021

Why should I get vaccinated if I already had COVID-19?


Even if you have already had COVID-19, you should get vaccinated because:

  • Research has not yet shown how long you are protected from getting COVID-19 again after you recover from COVID-19.
  • Vaccination helps protect you even if you’ve already had COVID-19.
Evidence is emerging that people get better protection by being fully vaccinated compared with having had COVID-19. One study showed that unvaccinated people who already had COVID-19 are more than 2 times as likely than fully vaccinated people to get COVID-19 again. Learn more about why getting vaccinated is a safer way to build protection than getting infected.

Learn more about preparing for your vaccination.

Are all events reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) caused by vaccination?


No. VAERS data alone cannot determine if the reported adverse event was caused by a COVID-19 vaccination. Anyone can report events to VAERS, even if it is not clear whether a vaccine caused the problem. Some VAERS reports may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable. These adverse events are studied by vaccine safety experts who look for unusually high numbers of health problems, or a pattern of problems, after people receive a particular vaccine.

Recently, the number of deaths reported to VAERS following COVID-19 vaccination has been misinterpreted and misreported as if this number means deaths that were proven to be caused by vaccination. Reports of adverse events to VAERS following vaccination, including deaths, do not necessarily mean that a vaccine caused a health problem.

Learn more about VAERS.

Week of 9/3/2021

Who should get a third dose of vaccine?

Currently, individuals with moderately to severely compromised immune systems are recommended for a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine. This includes people currently receiving treatment for cancer, people taking medications that weaken the immune systems, organ or stem cell transplant recipients, individuals with advanced or untreated HIV infection, and other conditions. A full list of conditions can be found on CDC’s website. If you are unsure if you are recommended for a third dose, talk with your health care provider. The third dose of COVID-19 vaccine can be given anytime 28 days after receiving the second dose.

The third dose is being recommended after emerging data suggests some people with moderately to severely compromised immunes systems do not always build the same level of immunity as individuals who do not have a compromised immune system. A third dose will help ensure people with compromised immune systems get as much protection as possible from COVID-19 vaccination.

Can I get any type of COVID-19 vaccine for my third dose?


 No. You should receive the same brand of vaccine you received for your first and second doses, either Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech.

Is the mRNA vaccine considered a vaccine?


Yes. mRNA vaccines, such as Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, work differently than other types of vaccines, but they still trigger an immune response inside your body. This type of vaccine is new, but research and development on it has been under way for decades.

The mRNA vaccines do not contain any live virus. Instead, they work by teaching our cells to make a harmless piece of a “spike protein,” which is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19. After making the protein piece, cells display it on their surface. Our immune system then recognizes that it does not belong there and responds to get rid of it. When an immune response begins, antibodies are produced, creating the same response that happens in a natural infection.

In contrast to mRNA vaccines, many other vaccines use a piece of, or weakened version of, the germ that the vaccine protects against. This is how the measles and flu vaccines work. When a weakened or small part of the virus is introduced to your body, you make antibodies to help protect against future infection.

Learn more about how mRNA COVID-19 vaccines work.


week of 8/27/2021

What does it mean that the Pfizer vaccine has full FDA approval?


On August 23, the FDA issued full approval to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, now known as Comirnaty. The vaccine has been fully approved for use in individuals age 16 and older, with a two-dose regimen spaced at least three weeks apart. The full approval by the FDA means that the Comirnaty vaccine now has the same level of approval as other vaccines routinely in use in the U.S., such as vaccines for hepatitis, measles, chicken pox, and polio.

On top of the rigorous testing and trials that went into Emergency Use Authorization of the Pfizer vaccine, the FDA analyzed additional and follow-up data from the ongoing clinical trial to determine the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.

The vaccine also continues to be available for adolescents age 12 through 15 and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals

Why is the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine not yet approved for individuals age 12-15


Pfizer’s application for FDA approval was for use in individuals age 16 and older. The FDA issued the EUA for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in December 2020, at which time this vaccine was authorized for use in individuals age 16 and older. In May 2021, based on extensive effectiveness and safety data in clinical trials of adolescents, the EUA was expanded to include those 12 through 15 years old. Pfizer plans to request full approval for this age group once it has collected and analyzed six months of safety data from clinical trial participants. The EUA remains in place for individuals age 12 through 15, and the CDC continues to recommend that all adolescents and adults age 12 and older get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Will DuPage County Health Department be opening a mass vaccination site again?


DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) continues to monitor the situation regarding COVID-19 booster recommendations. Although booster shots are expected to begin this fall, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must first authorize a third dose of the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) must issue booster dose recommendations based on the evidence presented.

In preparation of this decision, DCHD is assessing COVID-19 vaccination capacity at local health systems, healthcare provider offices, pharmacies, long-term care facilities, etc. DCHD is also preparing to increase capacity and is preparing for large-scale vaccination clinics to administer boosters in the fall. Additional information will be shared in the coming weeks.

Week of 8/20/2021

Who should get a third dose of vaccine?


Currently, individuals with moderately to severely compromised immune systems are recommended for a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine. This includes people currently receiving treatment for cancer, people taking medications that weaken the immune systems, organ or stem cell transplant recipients, individuals with advanced or untreated HIV infection, and other conditions. A full list of conditions can be found on CDC’s website. If you are unsure if you are recommended for a third dose, talk with your health care provider. The third dose of COVID-19 vaccine can be given anytime 28 days after receiving the second dose.

The third dose is being recommended after emerging data suggests some people with moderately to severely compromised immunes systems do not always build the same level of immunity as individuals who do not have a compromised immune system. A third dose will help ensure people with compromised immune systems get as much protection as possible from COVID-19 vaccination.

When will the general public be able to get a booster shot?


Federal health officials developed a plan to begin offering booster shots this fall subject to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducting an independent evaluation and determination of the safety and effectiveness of a third dose of the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines and CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) issuing booster dose recommendations based on a thorough review of the evidence.

Booster shots may be available beginning the week of September 20 and starting 8 months after an individual’s second dose. At that time, the individuals who were fully vaccinated earliest in the vaccination rollout, including many health care providers, nursing home residents, and other seniors, will likely be eligible for a booster.

Why do I need a booster shot?


The growing evidence about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy suggests that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks and vaccination is essential to protect pregnant people. Clinicians caring for pregnant people have seen an increase in the number of pregnant people with COVID-19 in the past several weeks. The increased circulation of the highly contagious Delta variant, the low vaccine uptake among pregnant people, and the increased risk of severe illness and pregnancy complications related to COVID-19 among pregnant people make vaccination for this population more urgent than ever

Week of 8/13/2021

Why is CDC strengthening vaccine recommendations for pregnant people now?


The growing evidence about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy suggests that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks and vaccination is essential to protect pregnant people. Clinicians caring for pregnant people have seen an increase in the number of pregnant people with COVID-19 in the past several weeks. The increased circulation of the highly contagious Delta variant, the low vaccine uptake among pregnant people, and the increased risk of severe illness and pregnancy complications related to COVID-19 among pregnant people make vaccination for this population more urgent than ever.

I lost my COVID-19 vaccination record card. What can I do?


If you enrolled in v-safe or VaxText, you can access your vaccination information through those tools. Otherwise, you can request your immunization records from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Immunization records may be accessed through a new portal, Vax Verify, that allows residents 18 years and older to access their COVID-19 vaccination record at https://idphportal.illinois.gov.

If records are not available through the portal, you may request these from IDPH directly and must:

  • Complete the appropriate authorization to release information through I-CARE, view the Immunization Record Request Form.
  • Return the signed copy of the authorization to the I-CARE Program Staff via email at [email protected]
  • Be sure to include a return fax number.
  • Records will be sent via fax upon receipt of the appropriate authorization form.
  • Records can only be sent via fax due to HIPAA regulations

For more information, visit www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/prevention-wellness/immunization/icare.  

Week of 8/9/2021

Is it safe to have children begin the school year in-person?


In-person learning is critical for the educational and social development of students of all ages. The top priority is to ensure that schools open and operate in a manner that prioritizes the health and safety of students, teachers, school staff, their families, and the community. Preventing the spread of COVID-19, keeping children healthy, and meeting their educational and social needs are not mutually exclusive goals.

The CDC has made recommendations for how schools can safely open, emphasizing that approaches should be informed by local trends. For that reason, safety and prevention protocols and strategies will vary across the country. The CDC continues to recommend that all adolescents and adults age 12 and older get a COVID-19 vaccine, coupled with other mitigation strategies including mask-wearing by unvaccinated people (students and adults), ventilation, cleaning and disinfecting, screening and testing, and other precautions such as distancing, hand-washing, and staying home when sick.

If I am fully vaccinated and a close contact to someone who has COVID-19, do I need to get tested?


Yes. On July 27, the CDC added a recommendation for fully vaccinated people who have a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to be tested 3-5 days after exposure, and to wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.

Infections in fully vaccinated people (breakthrough infections) happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant. Moreover, when these infections occur among vaccinated people, they tend to be mild.

However, preliminary evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the Delta variant can be infectious and can spread the virus to others. 


7/30/2021

Why did the CDC guidance on masks change?


The CDC bases its recommendations on the latest scientific data, including evidence on the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. In May, before the fast-spreading delta variant became the dominant strain in the U.S., the CDC updated its recommendations for fully vaccinated individuals based on evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines are extremely effective in protecting fully vaccinated people from catching and spreading the virus. The CDC’s updated masking guidance (July 27) advised that vaccinated and unvaccinated people in communities with substantial or high transmission rates should wear a mask in indoor, public settings. This new guidance is based on data showing that in rare instances, vaccinated people can catch and spread the virus. In addition, the CDC continues to encourage that everyone be vaccinated

How will COVID-19 variants, such as the delta variant, affect children and schools?


Data show that the delta variant is roughly twice as contagious as the initial strain of COVID-19 and that it has a much higher viral load. Scientists and public health officials are still learning about how the delta variant affects children, including whether it is more severe for children than other COVID-19 strains. As COVID-19 cases rise across the country, pediatric cases are rising alongside adult cases.

 As students return to in-person learning, the goal is to keep students safe and physically in school. Data show that the COVID-19 vaccines are extremely effective in protecting fully vaccinated people from catching and spreading the virus, including the delta variant. But it is critical that people are fully vaccinated to be protected. New data show that a small number of vaccinated people can be infected by the delta variant and may be contagious, but these cases represent a very small amount of transmission occurring around the country. The best way to reduce the spread of the delta variant in schools and communities is for all eligible adolescents and adults to get vaccinated, while following COVID-19 prevention and mitigation strategies informed by local trends


Week of 7/23/2021

Why is the Delta variant concerning? How can I protect myself?


The Delta variant has quickly become the dominant COVID-19 variant around the world and the U.S. Data show that the Delta variant is roughly twice as contagious as the initial strain of COVID-19, and people infected with it are more likely to need hospitalization. Currently, 99% of new COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations have been reported in people who are unvaccinated.

The best thing you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones healthy is to get vaccinated against COVID-19 with the safe, effective, and free vaccines that are available. COVID vaccines are extremely effective in protecting fully vaccinated people from catching and spreading the virus, including the Delta variant.

Why should my child get vaccinated against COVID-19?


COVID-19 vaccination can help protect your child from getting COVID-19. Although fewer children have been sick with COVID-19 compared to adults, children can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, can get sick from COVID-19, and can spread the virus that causes COVID-19 to others. Getting your child vaccinated helps to protect your child and your family. Vaccination is now recommended for everyone 12 years and older.

Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is the only one available to children 12 years and older.

If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated against COVID-19?


Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again. Studies have shown that vaccination provides a strong boost in protection in people who have recovered from COVID-19. Learn more about why getting vaccinated is a safer way to build protection than getting infected.

If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

If you or your child has a history of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults or children (MIS-A or MIS-C), consider delaying vaccination until you or your child have recovered from being sick and for 90 days after the date of diagnosis of MIS-A or MIS-C. Learn more about the clinical considerations people with a history of multisystem MIS-C or MIS-A.


Week of 7/16/2021

What is the current status of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine?


On July 12, the Food and Drug Administration announced it is adding a warning label to the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, noting increased risk of a rare neurological syndrome called Guillain-Barré syndrome. The new warning label is based on preliminary data, after about 100 reports of GBS were detected in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, out of more than 12.8 million administered doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine administered.

The CDC continues to advise that everyone 12 years of age and older receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The risk of severe adverse events after any COVID-19 vaccination remains rare, far lower than adverse health outcomes associated with contracting COVID-19.

The CDC and FDA will continue to provide monitoring and treatment information to health care providers and vaccine recipients. Anyone with questions about which vaccine is best for them should speak to their healthcare provider

Who is at risk for the Guillain-Barré syndrome associated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?


The likelihood of the Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) resulting from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is extremely low. The cases have largely been reported two weeks after vaccination and mostly in males, many age 50 years and older. Additional data that details the risk of incidence is forthcoming, but preliminary data is based on about 100 reports of GBS in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System out of more than 12.8 million Johnson & Johnson doses administered. If you have questions about the J&J vaccine or other vaccines, talk to your healthcare provider

Should I be concerned about the safety of other vaccines?


The mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines) are not associated with increased risk for Guillain-Barré syndrome or for a rare blood clotting disorder that appear on the warning label for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The identification of what is approximately a less than 2-in-a-million risk associated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a sign that the nation’s safety monitoring system for COVID vaccines is working. After any vaccine is successful in clinical trials and approved for use, the FDA continues to monitor it for safety. The 10-day pause of the J&J vaccine in April 2021 allowed scientists to evaluate each incidence of the clotting disorder. They determined that the level of risk was very low and that the benefits of continued use of the J&J vaccine greatly outweighed any risk associated with it.

Week of 7/9/2021

Are the COVID-19 vaccines effective against the delta variant?


Yes. Data show that the COVID-19 vaccines are extremely effective in protecting fully vaccinated people from catching and spreading the virus, including the delta variant. But it is critical that you are fully vaccinated to be protected.

Why do WHO and CDC have different recommendations about mask-wearing?


The World Health Organization (WHO) makes recommendations for the entire world, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issues guidance and recommendations to inform U.S. policy decisions at the local and state levels. WHO continues to recommend that everyone, including fully vaccinated people, wear masks. This is not a change, but rather a longstanding recommendation that WHO reiterated in light of the fast-spreading delta variant. A large portion of the world remains unvaccinated, and there are infection hot spots where the delta variant is already, or quickly becoming, the dominant strain. In countries where a large proportion of the population is not vaccinated, masking policies are critical.

In the United States, the CDC continues to urge localized policies based on local vaccination and infection rates. Communities with low vaccination rates are at higher risk for continued infections from COVID-19, including the delta variant. These higher risk levels may require safety measures like masking and social distancing.

Do I need a booster shot if I received the Pfizer vaccine?


Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time. FDA, CDC, and NIH are engaged in a science-based, rigorous process to consider whether or when a booster might be necessary. This process takes into account laboratory data, clinical trial data, and cohort data – which can include data from specific pharmaceutical companies, but does not rely on those data exclusively. We continue to review any new data as it becomes available and will keep the public informed. We are prepared for booster doses if and when the science demonstrates that they are needed.

Click here to read the complete Joint CDC and FDA Statement on Vaccine Boosters.


Week of 7/2/2021

I’ve heard about a new “Delta variant” of the virus that causes COVID-19. Is it dangerous?


The Delta variant is a mutation of the virus that causes COVID-19. This variant spreads more easily and more quickly than others. It already has had a severe impact in other countries, such as India. Over the past month, the Delta variant has rapidly spread and expanded in the U.S. It could soon become the dominant virus strain.

The good news is that the COVID-19 vaccines currently in use in the U.S. offer good protection against the COVID-19 variants we know most about. COVID-19 vaccines have shown excellent effectiveness in preventing hospitalizations and death. This includes the Delta strain.

The Delta variant most severely impacts those people not fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This includes people who only received the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series, such as Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.

How can I protect myself against the Delta variant?


You can best protect yourself against the Delta variant by becoming fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are continuing to study the Delta variant. They have concluded that COVID-19 vaccines offer good protection against COVID-19 variants.

Those who receive two-dose vaccines will be fully vaccinated two weeks after they receive their second dose. Two-dose vaccines include the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. Those who receive single-dose vaccines like Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine will be fully vaccinated two weeks after their dose.

Will other variants continue to spread in the future?


Viruses such as the Delta variant continue to mutate and spread as long as they have the ability to do so. The most effective means of slowing and stopping the spread of these variants is vaccination. When a large percentage of a community is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the virus will not be able to spread within it. This will also serve to decrease the development of new variants. Fully vaccinated people protect both themselves and their community against COVID-19 and similar variants


Week of 6/25/2021

Do vaccines impact fertility?


There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems. If you are trying to become pregnant now or want to get pregnant in the future, you may receive a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available to you. Like with all vaccines, medical experts are studying COVID-19 vaccines carefully for side effects and will report findings as they become available.

Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I have an underlying health condition?


Yes. People with underlying medical conditions can receive the FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines. In fact, vaccination is especially important for adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions, like diabetes and high blood pressure, because they are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Ask your doctor if you have specific questions.

People who have autoimmune conditions and who have previously had Guillain-Barre syndrome or Bell’s palsy may receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Do the vaccines contain microchips?


No. The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain microchips. A widely-shared conspiracy theory falsely claims that Bill Gates funded the vaccines to put microchips in people through vaccines. The vaccines contain a tiny piece of genetic material encased in salt, sugar and fats.

Week of 6/18/2021

Why should children get the COVID-19 vaccine?


Medical and public health experts, including the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend that children and adolescents 12 years of age and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect them from contracting and spreading the virus. Children and adolescents are typically at lower risk than adults of becoming severely ill or hospitalized from COVID-19, but it is still possible. While most children with COVID-19 have mild or no symptoms, they can still spread the disease to others. COVID-19 has caused serious illness, complications, and even death in some children and teens, and those with underlying health conditions may be more likely to become severely ill.

Another important reason for children to get the COVID-19 vaccine is to protect their friends, family, and the broader community. And being vaccinated will allow kids to get back to the things they have missed: in-person school, playing with friends, and participating in sports activities. Vaccinated individuals have a very low risk of contracting COVID-19 or spreading it to others, which adds a layer of protection for unvaccinated individuals around them — such as younger siblings and other children who are not currently eligible. Additionally, as more and more people get vaccinated, the infection rate among the general population will continue to lower, decreasing the chance that the coronavirus will mutate into dangerous variants. 

Source: https://publichealthcollaborative.org/faq/ 

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for children?


Yes. The FDA and CDC have carefully reviewed the clinical trials for Pfizer’s COVID vaccine, and it has been proven to be safe and effective for children 12 and older. Moderna has also applied for authorization for its vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds, and that data is currently under review. Clinical trials are also underway regarding the potential use of these vaccines for children under 12. In addition, the vaccines are being closely monitored to ensure the safety of the vaccines for all eligible age groups.

Source: https://publichealthcollaborative.org/faq/ 

Can receiving a COVID-19 vaccine cause you to be magnetic?


No. Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will not make you magnetic, including at the site of vaccination which is usually your arm. COVID-19 vaccines do not contain ingredients that can produce an electromagnetic field at the site of your injection. All COVID-19 vaccines are free from metals such as iron, nickel, cobalt, lithium, and rare earth alloys, as well as any manufactured products such as microelectronics, electrodes, carbon nanotubes, and nanowire semiconductors. In addition, the typical dose for a COVID-19 vaccine is less than a milliliter, which is not enough to allow magnets to be attracted to your vaccination site even if the vaccine was filled with a magnetic metal.

Learn more about the ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccinations authorized for use in the United States.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html 


Week of 6/11/2021

Can businesses choose to continue to require face coverings for customers and/or employees?


Yes. Businesses can choose to continue to require face coverings for all customers, regardless of vaccination status.

What communication should businesses provide to customers about their masking policy?


Businesses must indicate their current masking policy via signage or other communication to customers prior to entry.

What settings require all individuals, including those who are fully vaccinated, to continue to wear a mask in accordance with CDC guidance?

  1. On public transportation
  2. In congregate facilities
  3. iI health care settings, and where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance

Week of 6/4/2021

I’m fully vaccinated. Why do I need to wear a mask in some places?


On May 13, the CDC updated its public health recommendations for fully vaccinated individuals, including guidance on when people can safely resume normal activities without wearing a mask. However, there are a few important exceptions within the new CDC guidance. Everyone should continue to wear a mask in health care settings, homeless shelters, and correctional facilities, and while traveling on public transportation and planes. While the COVID-19 vaccine is highly effective and vaccinated people have a very low risk of contracting COVID-19, spreading it to others, or getting severely sick, no vaccine is 100% effective. To protect people at increased risk for contracting COVID-19 or at increased risk of severe illness, and to reduce spread of the virus, everyone should continue to wear masks in these settings. Additionally, everyone should continue to follow local and state regulations, along with individual business and workplace requirements.

Source: https://publichealthcollaborative.org 

Do any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States shed or release any of their components?


No. Vaccine shedding is the term used to describe the release or discharge of any of the vaccine components in or outside of the body. Vaccine shedding can only occur when a vaccine contains a weakened version of the virus. None of the vaccines authorized for use in the United States contain a live virus.

The mRNA and viral vector vaccines are the two types of currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines available.

Learn more about how mRNA COVID-19 vaccines work.

Learn more about how viral vector vaccines work.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html 

Week of 5/28/2021

How does the new CDC mask guidance affect my children and their summer activities?


Currently, no COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for children under 12 years old. Children age 12 to 15 can now receive the Pfizer vaccine. Once children age 12 to 15 are fully vaccinated — two weeks after their second Pfizer dose — they can resume summer activities without wearing a mask unless required by local, state, or business rules. Children age 2 and older who are unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated should wear masks in public settings, particularly where social distancing is not possible, and when around people who don’t live in their household.

Choosing summer activities with lower risk, in addition to wearing masks, can reduce unvaccinated children’s risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. These activities include exploring the outdoors, taking a road trip with members of your household, or visiting vaccinated friends or family from another household. No activity is totally risk-free: our kids ride bikes, they go skateboarding, etc. Parents should also monitor infections rates in your community and will need to make choices that feel best for their family. Being in crowds and poorly ventilated spaces puts unvaccinated people, including children, at higher risk for COVID-19.

 Source: https://publichealthcollaborative.org 

Why does DuPage County Health Department recommend COVID-19 vaccinations of children 12 years of age and older?


Children are not immune from COVID-19, and tragically, to date in the U.S., there have been 300 COVID-19-related deaths¹ in persons under 18 years old. In DuPage County, teens and young adults represent the majority of new COVID-19 cases. Although their risk of severe illness may not be as great as older adults, severe health outcomes are now largely preventable by vaccination. In addition, unvaccinated teens and young adults can become infected and transmit the virus to others; the risk of infection and spread is greatly reduced with vaccination. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)², the known and potential benefits of this vaccine in individuals 12 years of age and older outweigh the known and potential risks, supporting DCHD’s strong recommendation for the vaccine’s use in this population. 

The Health Department encourages parents to review the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 vaccine safety and efficacy from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and to talk with their child’s healthcare provider if they have any questions. Vaccinating as many of our eligible residents as soon as possible will help us stop the spread of this virus and make our communities safer for everyone. 

¹ https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm#AgeAndSex 

² https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-authorizes-pfizer-biontech-covid-19-vaccine-emergency-use 

Week of 5/21/21

Is it safe for my child to get a COVID-19 vaccine?


Yes. Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Like adults, children may have some side effects after COVID-19 vaccination. These side effects may affect their ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Children 12 years and older are now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines have been used under the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history, including studies in children 12 years and older. Your child cannot get COVID-19 from any COVID-19 vaccine.

Why should my child get vaccinated against COVID-19?


COVID-19 vaccination can help protect your child from getting COVID-19. Although fewer children have been sick with COVID-19 compared to adults, children can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, can get sick from COVID-19 and can spread the virus that causes COVID-19 to others. Getting your child vaccinated helps to protect your child and your family. Vaccination is now recommended for everyone 12 years and older. Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is the only one available to children 12 years and older.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.htm 


Week of 5/14/2021

Can I walk in to get my second vaccine dose at the DuPage County Vaccine Clinic in Wheaton?


Yes. The DCHD Community Vaccination Clinic welcomes walk-ins, including those who are due for their second vaccine dose of Pfizer. Your second dose will need to be AT LEAST 21 days from your first vaccine dose and you must bring your CDC vaccination record card with you.

I lost my COVID-19 vaccination record card. What should I do? 


If you enrolled in v-safe or VaxText, you can access your vaccination information through those tools. Otherwise, you can request your immunization records from the Illinois Department of Public Health. To do so, you must:

  • Complete the appropriate authorization to release information through I-CARE, view the Immunization Record Request Form.
  • Return the signed copy of the authorization to the I-CARE Program Staff via email at [email protected]
  • Be sure to include a return fax number.
  • Records will be sent via fax upon receipt of the appropriate authorization form.
  • Records can only be sent via fax due to HIPAA regulations

For more information, visit www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/prevention-wellness/immunization/icare

Can someone else who received a COVID-19 vaccine shed any of the vaccine components and affect my menstrual cycle?  


No. Your menstrual cycle cannot be affected by being near someone who received a COVID-19 vaccine. Individuals who have received a COVID-19 vaccine cannot shed or release any of the vaccine components. In addition, none of the vaccines authorized for use in the United States contain a live virus so it is not possible to shed it.

Many things can affect menstrual cycles, including stress, changes in monthly schedule, problems with sleep, and changes in diet or exercise. Infections may also affect menstrual cycles.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html 

Week of 5/7/2021

Can my 16-year-old walk in to get vaccinated at the DuPage Vaccine Clinic located at the DuPage County Fairgrounds in Wheaton?


Yes. The DCHD Community Vaccination Clinic welcomes eligible walk-ins Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm, and Saturdays from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm. Anyone under 18 is required to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. For more information, visit https://www.dupagehealth.org/688/COVID-19-Vaccination-Clinic-DuPage-Count.

Will a COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA? No. COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way.


There are currently two types of COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized and recommended for use in the United States: messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines and a viral vector vaccine. Both mRNA and viral vector COVID-19 vaccines deliver instructions (genetic material) to our cells to start building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. However, the material never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept. This means the genetic material in the vaccines cannot affect or interact with our DNA in any way. All COVID-19 vaccines work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease.

Learn more about how mRNA COVID-19 vaccines work.

Learn more about how viral vector vaccines work.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html 

Week of 4/30/2021

What is the current status of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine?


On April 23, a CDC panel recommended that the pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine be lifted. The panel also recommended that a warning label be added to the vaccine packaging noting the very rare blood clotting disorder risk. Based on the panel’s recommendation, the FDA ended the pause; states and local jurisdictions can now resume use of the J&J vaccine.

The CDC and FDA will provide monitoring and treatment information to health care providers and vaccine recipients.

If I’m offered the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, should I wait until I can get either Pfizer or Moderna?


For most people, getting the first available COVID vaccine is the best thing you can do to safeguard your health. Your odds of contracting a possibly life-threatening case of COVID-19 are much higher than your odds of serious side effects from the vaccine. The risk of blood clots from COVID illness is 165,000 per million cases.

More than 90% of the vaccine supply in the United States is either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. However, for some settings, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine may be the one that is available. And some people prefer the option of a single-dose vaccine. If you have additional questions about which vaccine is best for you, check with your doctor.

Source: https://publichealthcollaborative.org/faq/ 

Week of 4/23/2021

Can I get vaccinated against COVID-19 while I am currently sick with COVID-19?


No. People with COVID-19 who have symptoms should wait to be vaccinated until they have recovered from their illness and have met the criteria for discontinuing isolation; those without symptoms should also wait until they meet the criteria before getting vaccinated. This guidance also applies to people who get COVID-19 before getting their second dose of vaccine. Learn more at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html 

What is the update on the Johnson & Johnson's Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine? 


On April 23, 2021, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended resuming the use of Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine to protect against COVID-19. Visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/safety-of-vaccines.html for updates.

Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine (4/13/21)

Is DCHD cancelling vaccination appointments?


The DuPage County Health Department is using the Pfizer vaccine for appointments that are scheduled at the DuPage County Community Vaccination Site At this time, we do not anticipate having to cancel appointments. Our partners are also being asked to pause any use of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine and use other vaccine brands if available until we receive the recommendation to resume. 

I received the J&J vaccine recently; do I need to worry?


We understand that this news may cause concern. Millions of people have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine with no serious side effects. Serious reactions are extremely rare. The CDC has shared that if you got the vaccine several weeks ago, the risk of a reaction is very low. People who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider and share their recent vaccination history. Patients with other clinical questions should contact their health care provider.

How likely is it that someone would have an adverse reaction to J&J?


Adverse reactions to the vaccine are extremely rare. There were six reports of a rare type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia) out of 6.8 million doses given in the United States using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
For more information, refer to DCHD Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine Update (4/13/21) 

Week of 4/9/21

Is it safe for me to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I would like to have a baby one day?


Yes. If you are trying to become pregnant now or want to get pregnant in the future, you may receive a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available to you.

There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. In addition, there is no evidence that fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines.
Like all vaccines, scientists are studying COVID-19 vaccines carefully for side effects now and will continue to study them for many years.

Source: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html

Is DuPage County opening vaccine eligibly to people 16 years and older on April 12? I will be eligible, so how can I get an appointment?


Yes. DuPage County is expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all DuPage and Illinois residents 16 years of age and older. You can register for vaccination appointments in DuPage County at www.dupagehealth.org/covid19vaccine, or call (630) 682-7400 if you need assistance with registration. Appointment opportunities may still be prioritized for eligible individuals in earlier phases to help ensure individuals at higher risk of exposure and severe health outcomes are vaccinated. Please be patient, yet persistent, as we continue to move forward in vaccinating our residents as quickly and equitably as possible.

Since some providers are receiving vaccine directly from the state or federal government, we also encourage you to contact your primary care doctor, local retail pharmacies, and other vaccine providers in your area for other vaccine appointment opportunities. Additional vaccination locations can be found here www.dupagehealth.org/covid19vaccinelocations.

Week of 4/2/21

After I’m fully vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine, is it safe to visit in person with friends and family?


Fully vaccinated people can:
  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic
For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:
  • Take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing
  • Wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
  • Wear masks, maintain physical distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households
  • Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Follow guidance issued by individual employers
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations
www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html (Accessed 4/1/2021)

Week of 3/26/21

Is DuPage County expanding eligibility to residents 16 years and older?


Today, Mar. 26, the Governor announced local health departments who are experiencing low COVID-19 vaccine demand are now able to begin vaccinating residents 16 years and older. At this time, DuPage County Health Department will not be expanding eligibility to this group as vaccine demand remains high in the current eligible priority groups.

Who is eligible for COVID-19 vaccine in DuPage?


DCHD is following the State’s expanded eligibility criteria. Currently, individuals who meet Phase 1a, 1b, 1b+, or who are government employees, higher education staff, or news media are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Beginning March 29, restaurant staff, construction trade workers, and religious leaders will become eligible. Beginning April 12, any resident age 16 and older will become eligible.

Can I get my second vaccine dose at a different location than where I got my first dose?


People are highly encouraged to get their second vaccine at the same location they received their first. Second doses are shipped to each provider so that they receive the same number of doses as the first doses they administered, with the intention that people will return to the same location for their second dose.

How can I schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at the DCHD Community Vaccination Clinic?


DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) is sending appointment notifications for the DCHD Community Vaccination Clinic and other partner vaccine providers to eligible individuals registered on our vaccine registration list. Eligible DuPage County and Illinois residents can register on DCHD’s website to be notified of upcoming appointments at www.dupagehealth.org/covid19vaccine, or call (630) 682-7400 if assistance is needed with registration.

Everyone who is registered is also encouraged to contact their primary care doctor or local retail pharmacy for vaccine and appointment availability and explore additional opportunities through other vaccine providers in their area. For a list of available locations, visit www.dupagehealth.org/covid19vaccinelocations.

Week of 3/19/21

After I register for vaccine on the DCHD website, do I need to call to confirm I am registered?


There is no need to call and confirm your registration at this time. If you are receiving emails from DuPage County Health Department, then you are successfully registered. You will receive additional emails and/or text messages from us once appointments become available for you.

Is it safe to travel this Spring Break?


DCHD reminds parents, teachers, and families that postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect themselves and others from COVID-19, including the new variants identified in Illinois and DuPage County. People who choose to travel should follow CDC requirements and recommendations found at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-during-covid19.html.

When am I considered to be fully vaccinated?


People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, like the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, like Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. If it has been less than two weeks since your shot, or if you still need to get your second dose, you are NOT fully protected.

Week of 3/12/21

I received a second e-mail from DCHD requesting more information. Is this a scam?


The email you received this week is not a scam and was only sent to people on our registration list who had not submitted the additional information requested. Last week DCHD upgraded our registration system. Everyone who was registered received an email last week with instructions on how to update their information in the new system. This update provides you with an opportunity to confirm your interest in being vaccinated or opt-out if you have already been vaccinated. If you do not complete the link by March 18, 2021, you will no longer receive appointment alerts from DuPage County Health Department.

If you have any concerns about your registration status, please call us at 630-682-7400 for assistance.

I received a second e-mail from DCHD requesting more information. Is this a scam?
I registered for a vaccine in early February and still haven't been contacted to schedule an appointment. Why?


An estimated 330,000 individuals in DuPage County are currently eligible as part of Phase 1a and 1b. Based on the unpredictable vaccine supply we receive each week; we expect it may take until May before everyone eligible for Phase 1a and 1b is offered an appointment.

As new appointments become available at DCHD’s vaccine clinic or through our partner healthcare providers, emails with instructions on how to schedule an appointment are sent to individuals on this list who indicated Phase 1a or 1b eligibility when registering for this list. Notifications are sent to groups of several hundred individuals in the order that they signed up for the list.

DCHD is one of many providers in DuPage County currently administering COVID-19 vaccine. These include healthcare providers and retail pharmacies. We encourage residents to explore all options to access vaccine, sign-up on multiple lists, and take advantage of the soonest appointment available to them. You can find other vaccination sites here coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/vaccination-location.

Week of 3/5/21

I received an e-mail from DCHD requesting more information. Is this a scam?


The email you received on either March 3 or March 4 is not a scam. This week, we upgraded our vaccine registration system. Everyone registered on the previous vaccine registration list received an email with instructions on how to update their information in the new system to keep their place in line. The link provided is unique to the individual and should not be shared with others. This request allows people who are signed-up to confirm their interest in getting the vaccine or to opt-out if they have already been vaccinated. If you have not already submitted your information, please do so at the unique link sent to you. If you do not update your information with the link sent to you by March 11, 2021, you will no longer be on the vaccine registration list to receive appointment alerts from DuPage County Health Department.

Will I lose my place in line after re-registering?


If you provide the additional information requested (using the unique link sent to you), you will not lose your place in line. People who are transferred from the previous registration list to the new one will keep their place in line and be offered an appointment once it is their turn.

Which COVID-19 vaccine will I get?


Due to high demand, low supply, and the unpredictable nature of vaccine supply, individuals vaccinated at the DCHD clinic will not have the opportunity to choose in advance which vaccine they receive (i.e., Pfizer, Moderna, Janssen). If you do not want to be vaccinated with the vaccine brand available that day, you may decide not to be vaccinated at the clinic.

As an Employer of Frontline Essential Workers in DuPage County, how do we ensure our staff can get vaccinated?

  1. Encourage employees to sign up individually at www.dupagehealth.org/covid19vaccine if they live or work in DuPage County
  2. Encourage employees to contact their primary care provider or retail pharmacy (Jewel-Osco, Mariano’s, Meijer, or Walgreens)
  3. Explore opportunities through occupational health or employee wellness vendors
  4. If the business employs medical staff, consider registering with IDPH to receive and administer vaccine (ideally for companies with over 1,000 employees)

Week of 2/26/21

I have a family member who is part of the Phase 1b group and wants to get the vaccine. How can they get an appointment?


They should register on DCHD’s website at www.dupagehealth.org/covid19vaccine, or call (630) 682-7400 if they need assistance with registration (i.e., no internet or computer access, language assistance, or have questions). Also, they should contact your primary care doctor or local retail pharmacy for appointment availability and explore additional opportunities through other vaccine providers in the area. For a list of available locations compiled by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), visit coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/vaccination-location.

Is DuPage County expanding eligibility to the Phase 1b Plus group? If not, then when?


Until COVID-19 vaccine supply increases, DuPage County will not be expanding to the Phase 1b Plus group that includes individuals ages 16–64 years with co-morbidities and underlying conditions, as well as individuals with disabilities. DuPage County plans to expand to the Phase 1b Plus group once vaccine supply significantly increases, demand in the current group declines, or a significant proportion of the current group is vaccinated.

If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine?


Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again. Learn more about why getting vaccinated is a safer way to build protection than getting infected.

If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Week of 2/19/21

Will DuPage County expand the 1b priority group to include people 16-64 with underlying health conditions on Feb. 25th?


Until vaccine supply increases, DuPage County will not be expanding to the Phase 1b Part II group announced by the Governor last week that includes individuals ages 16–64 years with co-morbidities and underlying conditions, as well as individuals with disabilities.

How long will it take to complete the 1a and 1b priority groups?


Based on the extremely limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine available each week across the country and in DuPage County, we anticipate it may take approximately 12 weeks to vaccinate the nearly 270,000 individuals in DuPage County who meet Phase 1b criteria. Once vaccine supply is more robust, the rate of vaccination is expected to increase as more vaccine will be available for the DCHD community vaccination clinic as well as the network of healthcare providers approved as vaccination sites.

I’m part of the 1b priority group and want to schedule an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine. What should I do?


Persons eligible in Phase 1a or 1b who are interested in receiving vaccine should do the following:
  1. Register on DCHD’s website at www.dupagehealth.org/covid19vaccine, or call (630) 682-7400 if assistance is needed with registration (i.e., no internet or computer access, language assistance, or have questions).
  2. Explore additional opportunities through other vaccine providers in your area. Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has compiled available locations at coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/vaccination-location.
  3. Contact your primary care doctor or local retail pharmacy for appointment availability.
  4. Take the first available opportunity to receive vaccine.

Week of 2/12/21

Will the amount of vaccine administered on a weekly basis increase? If so, when?


The DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) is hopeful that COVID-19 vaccine supply will increase but there are no definitive timelines on when that may occur. Once vaccine supply is more robust, the rate of vaccination is expected to increase as more vaccine will be available for the DCHD community vaccination clinic as well as the network of healthcare providers approved as vaccination sites.

When someone is alerted they are now eligible to get the vaccine and schedule an appointment, is that only through the DCHD vaccine clinic?


Individuals who have registered with the DuPage County Health Department will receive information to schedule an appointment through DCHD or another healthcare provider. If a person eligible in Phase 1a or 1b has registered with the DuPage County Health Department (DCHD), they will receive weekly updates on the progress of our vaccination efforts. Once it is their turn, they will receive a link to schedule their appointment with DCHD or another healthcare provider. While individuals wait their turn, they may also contact their healthcare provider and private pharmacies for earlier appointment opportunities.

What do people do if they're not permanent residents or workers of DuPage?


If they have verification of their current employment or residence in DuPage County when they schedule their appointment they will be served. Everyone is encouraged to seek vaccine opportunities within the county they live or work in and should return to the same location for their second dose.

Week of 2/5/21

Is DuPage County Health Department prioritizing teachers in Phase 1b or how will they be vaccinated?


The DuPage County Health Department has been working with DuPage County schools through the Regional Office of Education (ROE) throughout the pandemic response. With the assistance of the ROE, we have developed a COVID-19 vaccination plan that links vaccine providers with 13 points of dispensing (PODs) established through the High School Districts. These providers are ready to begin vaccinating once vaccine is available with the understanding that it may take several weeks to have enough vaccine supply allocated and distributed to DuPage County.

There are over 28,000 educators and school staff and we are receiving only about 14,000 doses of vaccine in the county each week for those remaining to be vaccinated in 1a and all 270,000 individuals eligible in 1b. As the health department for all county residents, we are working to ensure that all people eligible in the Phase 1b priority groups have equitable access to the still limited vaccine.

If I have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, do I need to wear a mask, avoid close contact with others, and quarantine if I am exposed?


Yes. Everyone, including those who have been fully vaccinated, should continue using these measures to help end this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions.

We don’t yet know whether getting a COVID-19 vaccine will prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to other people, even if you don’t get sick yourself.

Week of 1/29/21

Currently can anyone in Phase 1b sign up at any site, or is availability limited to specific groups within 1b?


Anyone eligible in the 1b group will be able to schedule appointments as vaccine supply increases. The state has not released guidelines for prioritizing within 1b. We encourage people to register for updates about when and where COVID-19 vaccine will be available at www.dupagehealth.org/covid19vaccine. However, if opportunities to register become available through pharmacies, healthcare providers, or medical groups, people should also register there and get vaccinated at the first opportunity available. Many providers will be administering vaccine in the coming weeks and months as vaccine supply increases.

Do you have to live or work in DuPage to receive a vaccine in DuPage?


As the vaccine supply provided by the State of Illinois/IDPH is allocated based on county jurisdiction, DCHD is further prioritizing its administration of vaccine for individuals who live or work in DuPage County.

When will the mass vaccination site at the Fairgrounds open?


Next month, DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) will be moving and expanding the current COVID-19 vaccination clinic, operated at the health department building in Wheaton, to the DuPage County Fairgrounds. The vaccination clinic will be by appointment only, scheduled in advance. No walk-up appointments will be available.

As a reminder, this will be one of the many sites in DuPage County that eligible individuals will be able to access to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. DCHD has a decentralized, community-based vaccine allocation for our County that has over 80 locations for residents to access the vaccine. For more information, visit www.dupagehealth.org/covid19vaccine.

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: https://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/vaccination-plan. 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 www.dupagehealth.org/covid19vaccine. 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.

Week of 1/22/21

Is it recommended to register at a pharmacy or county vaccine site?


At this time, we are recommending residents register through their county health department. Through this registration, information will be shared about when and where vaccine is available for people to begin scheduling appointments.

However, if an individual is contacted directly through their healthcare provider or medical group, before they are contacted through the health department, they should get vaccinated at the first opportunity available.

How far in advance can I register?


People should begin registering now. This will provide them direct communication and updates as vaccination sites begin offering appointments to their corresponding phase.

Is there a time lag or delay to get the vaccine through the county?


The supply of vaccine is currently not adequate to meet the demand. The DuPage County Health Department is one of many healthcare providers who are currently vaccinating. We encourage people to be vaccinated at any of the healthcare providers who will be administering vaccine in the coming weeks and months. We anticipate additional vaccination sites will become available as vaccine supply increases.

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: https://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/vaccination-plan. 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 www.dupagehealth.org/covid19vaccine. 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.

Week of 1/22/21

Is it recommended to register at a pharmacy or county vaccine site?


At this time, we are recommending residents register through their county health department. Through this registration, information will be shared about when and where vaccine is available for people to begin scheduling appointments.

However, if an individual is contacted directly through their healthcare provider or medical group, before they are contacted through the health department, they should get vaccinated at the first opportunity available.

How far in advance can I register?


People should begin registering now. This will provide them direct communication and updates as vaccination sites begin offering appointments to their corresponding phase.

Is there a time lag or delay to get the vaccine through the county?


The supply of vaccine is currently not adequate to meet the demand. The DuPage County Health Department is one of many healthcare providers who are currently vaccinating. We encourage people to be vaccinated at any of the healthcare providers who will be administering vaccine in the coming weeks and months. We anticipate additional vaccination sites will become available as vaccine supply increases.

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: https://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/vaccination-plan. 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 www.dupagehealth.org/covid19vaccine. 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.

Week of 1/8/21

I have signed up for the newsletter, when will I be notified that there are more appointments available?


Current demand and interest to be vaccinated is extremely high. Thousands of healthcare professionals have signed up for our newsletter/weekly update and we are working as quickly as possible to offer appointment opportunities to healthcare professionals providing direct patient service. We are currently releasing new sets of open appointments every 3 to 4 business days.

I received a link to book an appointment, but when I clicked the link all appointments were full? When will I get a link for new appointment times?


We will send new links through email to healthcare professionals signed up for our weekly update as more appointments become available. We anticipate opening additional sets of appointments every 3 to 4 business days at this time.

When will DuPage County move to Phase 1b and begin vaccinating frontline essential workers and residents age 65 and older?


Specific timelines are difficult to predict but we have estimated it may take approximately 8 weeks to vaccinate all Phase 1a (healthcare personnel) in DuPage County.  Currently, we are in week 3 of our vaccination efforts.


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: 8/10/21