What you need to know about getting a COVID-19 vaccine in Chicago

Check out answers to frequently asked questions, including: Where can I get one? Can I go to a pharmacy? How long do I have to wait?

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Charles Krupa | AP Photos

Charles Krupa | AP Photos

Here are some answers to questions on who can get COVID-19 shots and where to get them:

Who’s eligible for the vaccine?

General public ages 5 and older: All Illinois residents 5 and over are eligible. In Illinois, the vaccine is offered to all populations, including undocumented individuals and those without health insurance.

What locations are offering vaccines in Chicago?

Vaccinations are available by walk-ups and appointments either through a doctor or other health care provider, a pharmacy or an employer.

• Most appointments are now being made through private healthcare providers. Check with your doctor or go to zocdoc/vaccine to register for one. Or call 312-746-4835.

• Residents can also can make an in-home appointment by calling 312-746-4835 or going to www.chicago.gov/athome.

• Two city-run sites remain open for any Chicagoan age 5 and up. Anyone 12 and up can walk in, and Pfizer pediatric vaccines can be made by appointment only. Both the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are available for adults. You can register for an appointment at https://getvaxchi.chicago.gov. (If assistance is needed, email getvaxnow@chicago.gov.)

The two immunization clinics are located in Greater Lawn and Uptown:

1. CDPH Greater Lawn Immunization Clinic, 4150 W. 55th St.

Open 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday:

2. CDPH Uptown WIC Clinic, 845 W. Wilson Ave., 2nd level

Open 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

• There are also popup clinics.

Go to https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/sites/covid19-vaccine/home/calendar-of-events.html for a calendar of events.

CPS sites

CPS students, family and staff can get vaccinated at four schools:

1. Chicago Vocational Career Academy, 2100 E. 87th St.

9 a.m.-1 p.m., Tuesdays

2. Theodore Roosevelt High School, 3436 W. Wilson Ave.

9 a.m.-1 p.m., Wednesdays

3. Michele Clark High School, 5101 W. Harrison St.

9 a.m.-1 p.m., Thursdays

4. Richards High School, 5009 S. Laflin St

9 a.m.-1 p.m., Fridays

Family Vaccination Clinics

Anyone over the age of 5 with a city of Chicago address can get vaccinated at any of 6 family vaccination clinics. Registration is required. Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines and booster doses, as well as pediatric Pfizer vaccines, are available.

The clinics are located in Chicago city colleges, and are open 9am-2am on specified dates:

1. Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson Ave.

Dec. 18, Jan. 8 (Saturdays)

2. Malcom X College, 1900 W Jackson Blvd.

Dec. 19, Jan. 9 (Sundays)

3. Kennedy-King College, 6301 S Halsted St.

Nov. 20, Dec. 11 (Saturdays)

4. Olive-Harvey College, 10001 S Woodlawn Ave.

Nov. 21, Dec. 12 (Sundays)

5. Wilbur Wright College, 4300 N Narragansett Ave.

Nov. 14, Dec. 5 (Sundays)

6. Richard J. Daley College, 7500 S Pulaski Rd. Chicago, IL 60652

Nov. 13, Dec. 4 (Saturdays)

Can I go to a pharmacy to get a shot?

There are several where you can sign up to get the vaccine.

• Walgreens at walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid-19

• Jewel-Osco at mhealthappointments.com/covidappt

• Walmart at walmart.com/cp/1228302

• Mariano’s at marianos.com/i/coronavirus-update/vaccine

• Chicago Costco Pharmacies at https://www.costco.com/covid-vaccine.html

• CVS at cvs.com/immunizations/get-vaccinated

What about locations in the suburbs and throughout Illinois?

Suburban Cook County residents can get information at vaccine.cookcountyil.gov/.

Click here to search for a vaccine location near you in other parts of Illinois.

Will it cost me money to get the vaccine?

The vaccine is free to everyone.

Do I need multiple shots?

To be fully effective, the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines approved for COVID-19 each require a second dose, which will either be three or four weeks apart from the first dose. Typically your second appointment is scheduled at the time you receive your first dose.

The Johnson and Johnson vaccine requires one shot and is effective two weeks later.

What about boosters?

While all three COVID-19 vaccines used in the U.S. still offer strong protection against severe illness including hospitalization and death, but protection against infection can wane with time.

That’s why on the FDA on Nov. 19 cleared Pfizer and Moderna booster shots for all adults.

It previously signed off on boosters for seniors and those who are immunocompromised. It said those who got Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot regime should get another shot starting within two months of the first shot, while those who got Pfizer or Moderna should get boosters six months after their second shot.

Experts said boosters upped protections against infection greatly, even against the Delta variant.

Do I still need to wear a mask after getting the vaccine?

With the emergence of the more contagious Delta variant, the CDC is again saying everyone — either vaccinated or unvaccinated — should wear masks indoors. Masks are also required for traveling on planes, buses and trains and other types of public transportation.

Illinois has maintained its mask mandate for indoor settings.

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