#VaxUpIL - Our Older Illinoisans Meeting the Challenge!
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.
If you can't figure out how to sign up online, call your
local county health department or
Area Agency on Aging and ask for assistance. For general questions about COVID-19 and Illinois’ response and guidance, call 1-800-889-3931 or email
Q: When can I get vaccinated with the COVID shot?
A: The state anticipates substantially completing Phase 1A next week and moving into Phase 1B of the Vaccine Plan on January 25, 2021, at which point residents over the age of 65 and frontline essential workers can receive the vaccine. While shipments from the federal government remain limited, the state is building out wide-reaching capacity to prepare for additional shipments and ensure those eligible in Phase 1B can receive their vaccine as quickly and equitably as possible. As of January 15, 2021, Illinois including Chicago has received a total of approximately 726,475 doses since vaccinations first launched last month, not including the federal program that serves long-term care residents.
As the state moves forward with its plan and continues to build out capacity, smaller independent pharmacies, urgent care clinics, doctors’ offices, and workplaces will all be coming online to serve as vaccination sites. More information on locations and how to make appointments will be available to the public on a website to be launched prior to the start of Phase 1B.
Demand is high and vaccine supplies are limited. Be prepared to be patient. It may take some time, but vaccine rollouts should become smoother as more sites come online and supplies become more readily available.
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.