Q: How can I make an appointment to get a vaccine?
A: Check with the physician's office, hospital or medical clinic where you usually receive care. Many institutions (though not all) are posting information about COVID-19 vaccines on their websites. Some have set up phone lines.
Most places are asking people to sign up online for appointments; some sites require multiple steps and their systems may seem hard to use. If you don't have a computer or you aren't comfortable using one, ask a younger family member, friend or neighbor for help. Similarly, ask for help if you aren't fluent in English. You can find available appointments statewide on the following website: https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/vaccination-location.
If you can't figure out how to sign up online or need assistance, call your local county health department or Area Agency on Aging. You can also call the IDPH toll-free hotline: 833-621-1284.
Q: Why Should I Take the Vaccine?
A: Older adults have a higher risk for severe illness and hospitalization if they get COVID-19. Research has demonstrated that the vaccine is 95% effective in preventing COVID-19. The COVID-19 vaccine will help keep you, your family, and your community healthy and safe.
Q: Is the Vaccine Safe?
A: We understand that some people may be concerned about getting vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccine was tested with thousands of participants to generate scientific data and other information in order to determine its safety and to get approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
Q: What are the Side Effects?
A: Short-term side effects are mild and may include fever, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, chills and sore arms. They will go away in a few days, but they are normal and a sign your body is working to build up protection against the virus.
Myth vs. Fact
Myth: If I get vaccinated for COVID-19 I'll be more vulnerable to other illnesses.
Fact: While the COVID-19 vaccine will work to teach your immune system to recognize and protect against coronavirus, it is not proven to make you vulnerable to other illnesses.
Myth: After I get the vaccine, I no longer have to wear a mask.
Fact: While health experts learn more about the protection of COVID-19 vaccines, it will be important for everyone to continue to wear a mask, wash hands often, and practice social distancing.