COVID-19 Vaccinations at ACCESS

ACCESS is focused on vaccinating all our eligible patients at this time. Existing, eligible ACCESS patients should contact their provider to see if they can schedule their vaccine. We urge community residents to continue to check this website as we expand our vaccine efforts.


Currently, there are three authorized COVID-19 vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson) available that will help end this pandemic. Learn more about our efforts, your eligibility and general information about the COVID-19 vaccines.  


Following the guidance released from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ACCESS is temporarily pausing the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. If you are scheduled to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at an ACCESS location, we will reach out to you directly to update your appointment for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. If you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and are experiencing any symptoms, please reach out to your provider directly to discuss your concerns.


When will I be eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Due to limited vaccine supply, ACCESS is following state and local public health guidance to determine eligibility. Eligible individuals include healthcare workers, people over 65 and frontline essential workers that fall within Part 1A and Part 1B. Currently, Illinois is Phase 1B part II, which includes patients 18 and older with underlying medical conditions. Eligible conditions include obesity, diabetes, pulmonary diseases, smoking, heart conditions, chronic kidney disease, cancer, solid organ transplant, sickle cell disease, pregnancy, and persons with a disability. If you are an ACCESS patient and believe you are eligible at this time, please contact your provider.


To stay up to date on the latest developments in Illinois' Vaccination Plan, visit IDPH


How do I schedule my appointment? 

Due to limited vaccine supplies, ACCESS is only able to vaccinate eligible, existing patients at this time. Vaccines will be administered by appointment only and at select locations. Please continue to check this website for updated information as ACCESS expands its efforts to vaccinate community residents. 


Is there a cost to get the vaccine? 

There is no charge to patients for the vaccine. If you are insured, your insurance plan may be charged, however, you will not pay any out-of-pocket costs. As an FQHC, ACCESS will not turn away any patients that are uninsured or unable to pay.


What if I am not an ACCESS patient, can I schedule my vaccine?

At this time, ACCESS is only able to vaccinate eligible ACCESS patients. Please continue to check this website for updated information as ACCESS expands its efforts to vaccinate community residents. 


What to Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine 


What are the benefits of getting the COVID-19 vaccine?  

When you get vaccinated, it can help you from getting seriously sick. It may also help protect the people around you. People who have had COVID-19 still benefit from getting vaccinated. Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools we have available. COVID-19 vaccination combined with daily preventative actions will offer the best protection from COVID-19.


What is the COVID-19 vaccine and how does it work? 

The first vaccines available are called “mRNA” vaccines. The mRNA vaccine, or “messenger RNA vaccine”, does not contain a live virus. Rather, the vaccine causes the cells to produce a protein similar to those in COVID-19 so your immune system is introduced to the protein and can build up its immune response. The COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19 or test positive on a viral test because it does not contain the live virus.


After getting a flu shot, I always get the flu. Will this cause me to get COVID-19?  

No, you cannot become infected, or infect others, from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, because the vaccine contains no live virus. Instead, the vaccine directs your body to produce a protein that teaches your body how to fight off the virus. After getting a flu shot, some people develop flu-like symptoms, such as mild fever, chills and body aches. These symptoms are not the same as actually having influenza. The same is true for COVID-19 vaccines.


Are there side effects?  

After a vaccination, it is normal to feel some mild side effects. Side effects signal that your body is building up protection from the virus. Reported common side effects include: pain or soreness at the injection site, fatigue and headache. You may also experience mild fever, chills, nausea or body aches. The side effects from vaccination may feel a little bit like the flu, but they should go away after 48 to 72 hours.  


Can the COVID-19 vaccine cause me to become infected or infect others?  

No, you cannot become infected or infect others from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, because the vaccine contains no live virus. Instead, the vaccine directs your body to produce a protein that shows your body how to fight off the virus.


What are the vaccine recommendations for children under the age of 16?  

At this time, there is not a pediatric vaccine for children under the age of 16. The Pfizer vaccine is approved for individuals over the age of 16. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine are approved only for individuals over the age of 18. Until studies are completed, a vaccine for children under 16 is not expected to be available in the immediate future.


If someone has a COVID diagnosis within the last 90 days, should they wait to get the vaccine? 

According to the CDC, individuals may choose to wait to get the vaccine if they have had a COVID diagnosis in the last 90 days. Affected individuals should talk with their ACCESS provider for further guidance on their specific situation.


I've had COVID-19, should I get the vaccine? 

Yes. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) recommends you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you have already had COVID-19. Patients who have recently had COVID-19 should talk to with their primary care provider about the best time to receive the vaccine.


How many doses of the COVID-19 vaccine do I need? 

In order to receive maximum protection from COVID-19, the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines require two doses, while the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine requires only one dose. The timing between your first and second dose depends on which vaccine you received. 

The Pfizer vaccine requires a second dose three weeks or 21 days from your first shot. The Moderna vaccine requires a second dose one month or 28 days after your first shot. 

ACCESS cannot guarantee what type of vaccine will be available but all vaccines are approved for Emergency Use and Authorization (EUA) by the FDA and effective against COVID-19. 


Do I need to continue to wear a mask after I receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine? 

Yes. We know the vaccines are effective at preventing COVID-19, but we still need to take the necessary precautions:


I have a pre-existing condition. Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe? 

Adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines may be administered to people with underlying medical conditions provided they have not had a severe or immediate allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. Clinical trials have not yet been completed on those with certain pre-existing conditions, so safety data is limited. Speak to your ACCESS provider to help you make an informed decision.


I am pregnant or breastfeeding. Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe? 

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding and part of a group offered the COVID-19 vaccine early on due to high risk of exposure to COVID-19, you may choose to be vaccinated. Studies show that pregnancy can place a person at risk for more severe illness due to the  COVID-19 virus. Studies are ongoing on the vaccine and pregnant women. Choosing to get the vaccine is a personal choice and your ACCESS provider can help you make an informed decision. 


I am not eligible yet for the vaccine, what should I do to protect myself? 

You should continue to practice the recommended safety precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19, including:  


Additional Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH)  

Cook County Health 

DuPage County Health Department  


Visit and the Vaccine Finder to see vaccine providers in your area.