Graphic Credit: Jamani Reed, Associate Editor

Signaling the beginning of the end, vaccines have been distributed extremely rapidly throughout the United States. According to the CDC, as of April 28, 43% of the population had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, which is 142.7 million people. However, as with anything affecting so many people, several questions have been frequently asked. The answers below are tailored to residents of Kendall County.

  1. How do I sign up for the vaccine?

To sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine, visit kendallhealth.org. Select the blue teal button and pick a date and time that works for you. If none are available, check back frequently. 

  1. How old do I have to be? 

You have to be 18+ to receive the Moderna and J&J vaccines and 16+ to receive Pfizer. As of May 4, the FDA plans to authorize the Pfizer vaccine for children and teens ages 12-15 in the next week.

  1. What do I need to bring with me?

For your appointment, you need to bring either a driver’s license, pay stub, or work ID to prove that you either live or work in Kendall County. You also need to bring your QR code sent to you when you signed up to receive the vaccine.

  1. What side effects are possible?

Some common side effects on the arm that you got the vaccine are soreness and redness. The rest of your body may experience tiredness, headache, chills, fever, or nausea. However, these side effects don’t last long and are very much worth getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

  1. Which vaccine should I get?

You should get whichever vaccine is available to you first. All three versions have been approved by the FDA and are safe to use. However, if you are between the ages of 16 and 18, the Pfizer vaccine is your only option.

  1. Do I need to wear a mask in public even if I’m already vaccinated?

Fully vaccinated people do still need to wear a mask to go in public or visit people who are unvaccinated from multiple households. However, fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask or social distance when they are with others who are either fully vaccinated or from only one household.

  1. How many doses will I need?

The J&J vaccine only requires one dose, while the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two. The second Moderna shot can be administered 28 days after the first compared to 21 for Pfizer. You should try to receive the second dose as soon as possible. However, it may be given up to five weeks later than the first, should the extension be needed.

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