Associate Medical Director Chairman, Department of Professional Education
Dr. Juleigh Nowinski Konchak
Attending Physician, Family Medicine
Dr. Pilar Guerrero
Attending Physician, Emergency Medicine
Dr. Claudia Fegan
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Sharon Welbel
Director, Health Care Epidemiology & Infection Control
Dr. Krzysztof Pierko
Attending Physician, Internal Medicine
All Cook County residents aged 12 years or older are eligible to receive the COVID vaccine. Children under 18 can only receive the Pfizer vaccine and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Vaccinations are free, regardless of insurance or immigration status.
The COVID-19 Delta variant is currently the most common form of COVID-19. It is more contagious than other variants and can cause very serious illness.
Getting vaccinated is the easiest and most effective way to stay safe. The vaccine prevents 99% of deaths and 94% of hospitalizations.
Getting vaccinated will protect yourself and those around you and will help keep your community healthy.
The vaccine will not give you COVID-19. The COVID-19 vaccine cannot create an infection and you will not be contagious.
The vaccine works with your immune system so you can better fight the virus if you are exposed.
Most of the available vaccines require two doses. The first dose primes your immune system to respond to the virus, and then the second dose makes the effects of the vaccine last longer. By having more than one dose, the vaccine will allow your body to have a more effective response to the virus.
You might experience some side effects in the 24 hours after receiving your shots, including fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and pain at the site of injection. These side effects are an immune response which means the body is doing what it is supposed to.
DEVELOPING THE VACCINE
Prioritizing Safety and Efficiency
While researchers worked quickly to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, safety and effectiveness were always the top priority. The vaccine was created with everyone’s safety in mind without cutting corners or skipping steps.
How were researchers able to develop it so quickly?
Researchers used years of previous research in other viruses and vaccines to help inform a vaccine development process for COVID-19.
For the past year, everyone involved dedicated all their resources and time to developing the COVID-19 vaccine. This includes research institutions, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, and philanthropic organizations.
Many governments around the world, including the U.S. government, and private funders invested in the vaccine, which allowed pharmaceutical companies to focus on research and clinical trials instead of fundraising, one of the most time-consuming parts of vaccine development.
Finally, because of the financial support, researchers were able to conduct different parts of the development process at the same time instead of one after another, shortening the process. No steps were skipped in the process of developing the COVID-19 vaccines.
There’s a lot of information out there about the COVID-19 vaccine, and it can be hard to know where to go to find what you need.
We’ve collected these sources to help answer your questions, but first – what makes a source reliable?
We consider reliable resources for COVID vaccine information to be public health departments, educational institutions, health systems, and medical professionals. These websites usually end in .org or .edu. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are not good sources for vaccine facts.