COVID-19 Vaccine Information
The COVID-19 vaccine is available to everyone age 12 and older, regardless of your immigration status or whether you have health insurance. Visit https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/ for more information about the choices available to you.
Why should I get a vaccine?
- The vaccine is free, effective, and safe, and helps protect you and your community against COVID-19, which can cause serious long-term side effects and death.
- It is possible to be re-infected with COVID-19 even if you have already had it.
- Reduced community spread of COVID-19 includes benefits like safely seeing loved ones, reopening local businesses, enjoying time outside, and getting kids back to school.
Where can I get the vaccine?
- You can ask your doctor about getting a vaccine or you can find a vaccine near you by visiting vaccines.gov, including information about free rides to appointments and free childcare during your appointment.
- You can text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you in the U.S.
- You can visit your local pharmacy or visit the IDPH website.
- If you or someone you know needs assistance scheduling an appointment, call the toll-free IDPH hotline at 833.621.1284.
Are the vaccines safe?
- Yes. The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19 and it does not contain any part of the virus.
- Millions of people have received COVID-19 vaccines, and no common long-term side effects have been detected.
- For more information, please see the Centers for Disease Control’s page on vaccine safety.
What to expect when getting vaccinated
- You will receive a vaccine shot, likely in your arm, from someone who has been trained in giving vaccines. You may feel a slight pinch, like any other vaccine or shot.
- Vaccine administrators ask that you be monitored 15-30 minutes after receiving the vaccine in case of any severe allergic reaction, which is very rare.
- You will get a vaccination card and be asked to come back for your second dose in 3-4 weeks. It is very important for you to complete all required doses of the vaccine to best protect you from COVID-19.
What to expect after getting vaccinated
- After receiving the vaccine, you may feel flu-like symptoms, like muscle-aches and a fever, which means your body is building protection.
- After getting your second dose, you will have the best available protection against COVID-19. Although the CDC does not require masks for vaccinated individuals in most circumstances, you may feel comfortable wearing masks around unvaccinated individuals.
- The Centers for Disease Control are also continuing to monitor new variants of the COVID-19 virus. Learn more about variants and follow any current public health guidance.
- If you have questions about whether you are eligible for the vaccine or about any COVID-19 related billing and would like to speak with someone from the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) Family Support Hotline, please call 1-855-435-7693. ICIRR has also prepared messages about COVID-19 vaccination in several languages that you can share with your community
- The federal government has clearly stated that use of the COVID-19 vaccine will not harm your immigration case in any way.
- Frequently Asked Questions on the COVID-19 Vaccine from the Centers for Disease Control, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and the Chicago Department of Public Health