Important COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Essence Members
Vaccine production and distribution are currently ramping up. Experts suggest that we are nearing the point that vaccine supply will exceed demand. All residents of Illinois and Missouri 16 years of age or older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Visit the websites for your local county health department, health system, or Walgreen’s or CVS pharmacy to register to receive the vaccine. More details about availability can be found at your state’s COVID-19 vaccine website.
This is a rapidly changing situation, so please stay in touch with your primary care physician, health system and your pharmacy for the latest news on vaccine availability. We will keep you posted as we learn any additional information. Meanwhile, it is very important to continue following CDC guidance around face coverings, social distancing, and other protective measures for the foreseeable future. These steps will remain important to protecting you and others.
- St. Louis County vaccine registration
- St. Charles County vaccine registration
- St. Clair County vaccine registration
- Madison County vaccine registration
- Monroe County vaccine registration
- Clinton County – Call 1-618-594-6221
- CDC nationwide vaccine information
COVID-19 Vaccine: Frequently Asked Questions
|Does the vaccine work?||Large clinical trials suggest that all available COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in keeping you from getting COVID-19 and preventing severe infection. Now that the vaccines have been out for a few months, data from around the world confirm that the vaccines are just as effective in the real world as they were in the clinical trials.|
|If I get a vaccine can I still catch and transmit the virus?||We know the vaccines reduce the risk of getting sick from COVID-19, but we do not yet know if it prevents infection without symptoms. We also do not know if people who have been vaccinated can transmit the virus to other people.|
|What are the new coronavirus “variants” that we are hearing about in the news?||The coronavirus mutates frequently. There are new strains being identified around the world that are now spreading here in the U.S., such as the so called “U.K. variant.”|
So far from what scientists know, the U.K. variant can be more infectious, but the good news is, the vaccines are still believed to be effective. More will need to be researched about other strains as they are identified. Getting the vaccine remains one of the best steps we can all take to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities.
|I’ve already had COVID-19, should I still get the vaccine?||Yes. The CDC recommends that individuals who previously tested positive for COVID-19 should be vaccinated. This is because natural immunity to COVID-19 (if it does develop at all) is believed to last for only a limited period of time and does not provide long-term protection against new infections.|
|Is the vaccine safe?||Yes. Only mild to moderate temporary side effects have been reported in the vast majority of people. Common side effects include fever, chills, body aches, headache, fatigue, and muscle soreness at injection site, generally resolving within a few days. If necessary, they can be easily managed by over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol.|
|Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?||No. None of the shots contain live coronavirus that can cause infection, so it’s impossible to get COVID-19 from the vaccine. The vaccines contain a small part of the virus that gives the body a set of instructions to destroy the live virus if you come in contact with it.|
|When can I get the vaccine?||In both Missouri and Illinois, anyone ages 12 years of age and older is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccine supply is still limited, but it is increasing every week. Visit the websites of your county health department, health system, or local Walgreen’s or CVS pharmacy to register for an appointment to get vaccinated.|
For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine and additional tips for staying safe, you can visit these websites: