Vaccinations against COVID-19 are a necessary tool to help end the pandemic.
We understand individuals may have concerns regarding the development of the vaccines and how the vaccines adhere to our Catholic values. Learn more.
Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine or Booster with OSF
OSF is providing primary COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots to eligible patients.
At this time, OSF is only offering primary series vaccinations and boosters from Pfizer-BioNTech.
Kids 6 months to 17 years
- Kids 6 months to 4 years old: A three-dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is approved for this age group. The second dose is given between three and eight weeks after the first dose. The third dose is given at least eight weeks after the second dose. A booster is not approved for this age group.
- Kids 5 to 11 years old: A two-dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is approved for this age group. The second dose is given three to eight weeks after the first dose. This age group can get a booster of the original (monovalent) vaccine five months after the second dose of their primary series.
- Kids 12 to 17 years old: A two-dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is approved for this age group. The second dose is given three to eight weeks after the first dose. This age group also can get a booster of the original (monovalent) vaccine at least five months after the second dose of their primary series. In addition, Pfizer’s updated (bivalent) booster that is formulated to protect against the omicron variants can be administered at least two months after the second dose of the original (monovalent) vaccine or booster.
To schedule an appointment, please make sure you have access to your child's records through your OSF MyChart account or select schedule as a guest.
Adults 18 and older
Adults age 18 and older are recommended to get a two-dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The second dose is given three to eight weeks after the first dose. Adults also can get a booster of the original (monovalent) vaccine at least five months after the second dose of their primary series. In addition, Pfizer’s updated (bivalent) booster that is formulated to protect against the omicron variants can be administered at least two months after the second dose of the original (monovalent) vaccine or booster.
Vaccines and Boosters for Immuncompromised
The CDC recommends a third dose as part of the primary vaccine series for people age 6 months and older who receive the two-dose mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) and are moderately or severely immunocompromised. These individuals are especially vulnerable to infection from COVID-19 and are more at risk of serious, prolonged illness.
Kids 6 months to 17 years
- Kids 6 months to 4 years old: A three-dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is approved for this age group. A second dose is given three weeks after the first dose and a third dose is given at least eight weeks after the second dose. At this time, a booster is not recommended for this age group.
- Kids 5 to 11 years old: A three-dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is approved for this age group. A second dose is given three weeks after the first dose and a third dose is given at least eight weeks after the second dose. A fourth dose – a booster – of the original (monovalent) vaccine is recommended to get three months after the third dose.
- Kids 12 to 17 years old: A three-dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is approved for this age group. A second dose is given three weeks after the first dose and a third dose is given at least four weeks after the second dose. It’s recommended this age group get the updated (bivalent) booster at least two months after their third vaccine dose or their last booster of the original (monovalent) vaccine.
Adults 18 and older
A three-dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is approved for adults. A second dose is given three weeks after the first dose and a third dose is given at least four weeks after the second dose. It’s recommended this age group get the updated (bivalent) booster at least two months after their third dose or last booster of the original (monovalent) vaccine.
Talk to your provider if you’re unsure when to get a booster. You can also use the CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine booster tool.
Other Vaccine Appointment Options
In addition to OSF, you can also get vaccinated at your local health department, state vaccine clinics and retail pharmacies. Find a Vaccine
Check back to this page as it is regularly updated with additional appointment options. Please follow
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Consent for Minors
Individuals who are minors (age 6 months through 17) must be accompanied by an adult (18 years or older) at their appointment to be vaccinated.
- If you are a parent or guardian and are unable to attend the vaccine visit, please complete a parental consent form prior to the appointment
- Or be prepared to provide written information on how we can obtain verbal consent from you at the time of the visit
From Our Blog
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the position of OSF on the vaccines and the use of fetal cells?
As a Catholic or person of faith, you may have questions about whether the development of the COVID-19 vaccines was ethical. You may even wonder about the content of the vaccines themselves.
For years, the Catholic Church has been concerned about fetal cell lines used for the development and culturing of vaccines. The vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna first raised concerns because fetal cell lines were used for testing purposes, but not in their production. However, an abortion-derived cell line was used in the development, testing and production of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. No fetal cells or tissue, however, are used in the vaccine itself.
At this point in the pandemic emergency, OSF will not turn away the Johnson & Johnson vaccine if it is the only option available for our patients. We will communicate to patients which vaccine they are receiving and they can make their own choice as to whether to accept it.
Both the Vatican and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have released statements for people of faith to consider. The Vatican has stated that in this pandemic emergency, a wide range of vaccines that are available now may be used to protect ourselves and others. The USCCB has stated that being vaccinated is an act of charity that serves the common good. When an individual does not have a choice in which vaccine to receive, it is morally acceptable to receive any of the vaccines with a clear conscience.
The following resources can provide you with additional information on this subject:
General COVID-19 Vaccine Questions
What do we know about COVID-19 vaccines?
Vaccine Effectiveness Number of Doses Possible Side Effects More Info Pfizer About 95% effective in trials Age 5 and older: 2 (second dose 21 days later)
Age 6 months to 4 years old: 3 (second dose 3-8 weeks later; third dose 8 weeks after second dose)
Fever, headache, redness around the location of the shot, muscle pain or muscle aches Moderna About 95% effective in trials 2 (second dose 28 days later) Fever, headache, redness around the location of the shot, muscle pain or muscle aches Johnson & Johnson About 66.9% effective in trials 1 dose Pain around location of the shot, headache, fatigue, fever, muscle pain
Why should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Vaccination will help keep you from getting COVID-19.
A vaccine teaches your body’s immune system to recognize a virus or bacteria so that you can fight off an infection without getting sick.
Read more from the CDC.
How effective are the three COVID-19 vaccines?
All three COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are highly effective at preventing hospitalizations or death, according to clinical study results the companies provided to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Further, the CDC provides guidance and testing data. Read more here.
A vaccine’s efficacy is determined during clinical studies by looking at the difference in new cases of the virus between the group that received the experimental vaccine and the group that did not.
All three vaccines were nearly 100% effective at preventing severe disease resulting in hospitalization or death – six weeks after the first dose for Moderna, seven weeks after the first dose for Pfizer and seven weeks after the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Will I have to pay for my COVID-19 vaccine?
The COVID-19 vaccination is free, as it was purchased by the federal government.
Health care providers, however, are allowed to charge an administrative fee.
This administrative fee helps cover costs associated with things such as wages for the health care workers who are giving the shots and documenting your patient information, and for storing and transporting the vaccine for use at vaccination clinics. Insurance plans and governmental payers are required to pay for the administration fees with no out-of-pocket expense to you.
OSF HealthCare also believes no individual should have to pay for this administrative fee. If you do not have insurance, OSF will not pass the administration costs on to you.
If you receive a bill for the administrative fee or a notice from your insurance company that the administrative fee is being applied toward your deductible, please contact OSF HealthCare at (800) 421-5700 and a financial navigator will assist you.
At OSF HealthCare, we are dedicated to serving you with the greatest care and love.
- How do the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work?
COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without getting sick. With all types of vaccines, the body is left with a supply of antibodies that will remember how to fight that virus in the future.
Read more from the CDC.
What kind of vaccine is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a viral vector vaccine that uses a type of virus, such as one that causes the common cold. The vector (the virus with its protein stripped out) carries a gene from the coronavirus into human cells, which then produce the spike protein of the coronavirus, but not the virus itself.
Like mRNA vaccines, it’s the spike protein that primes the immune system to fight off future exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.
What should I do before my vaccine?
Talk to your doctor about getting a vaccine for COVID-19. Remember to bring your mask, and any other additional identification materials required by your vaccination center.
What can I expect at my vaccine visit?
Wear your mask into the vaccine clinic and during your vaccination. You should receive a vaccination card or printout that tells you what COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it and where you received it. You will also get a paper or an electronic version of a fact sheet from the manufacturer of the authorized COVID-19 vaccine that you received. Make sure you review this and ask any questions you may have before leaving. If your vaccine requires two doses, make sure to schedule your second dose.
Which lasts longer – immunity after the vaccine or immunity from having been infected with COVID-19?
We won't know how long immunity lasts after vaccination until there is more data on how well COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions. We don't know how long immunity lasts after someone has a COVID-19 infection, however this is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting vaccinated even after having COVID-19.
What percentage of the population needs to get vaccinated to achieve herd immunity?
Herd immunity means that enough people in a community are protected from getting a disease because they've already had the disease or they've been vaccinated. Herd immunity makes it hard for the disease to spread from person to person, and it even protects those who cannot be vaccinated, like newborns. The percentage of people who need to have protection in order to achieve herd immunity varies by disease. The CDC and other experts are studying herd immunity and will provide more information as it is available. Public health officials have a goal of vaccinating 80% of the population to achieve herd immunity.
Do I need to get a booster of the COVID-19 vaccine?
At this time, the CDC and FDA are recommending individuals who are moderately to severely immunocompromised get a third dose 28 days after their second dose if they received Pfizer or Moderna or get a second dose 28 days after receiving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
As for boosters, if you are moderately or severely immunocompromised and are age 5 or older and received Pfizer or are age 12 and older and received Moderna, you should receive a booster (which will be your fourth dose) three months following your third dose. You are also eligible for a second booster (your fifth dose) four months following your first booster if you are age 12 or older.
For individuals who are not immunocompromised, booster shots are approved for everyone age 12 and older and are given five months after receiving either Pfizer or Moderna. Individuals 18 and older who received Johnson & Johnson should get a second shot two months after their first dose.
Further, a second booster is available to anyone age 50 and older. This booster is given at least FOUR months after you received your first booster of Pfizer or Moderna.
If you received Johnson & Johnson for both your first vaccination and your first booster two months later, you are advised by the CDC to get a second booster of either Pfizer or Moderna four months following your Johnson & Johnson booster.
Should I take any over-the-counter pain medications prior to getting vaccinated?
The COVID-19 vaccines may cause side effects, such as pain and swelling at the injection site, along with fever, chills, headache and fatigue. These symptoms are signs that your immune system is responding as it’s supposed to.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend taking medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil) or antihistamines (Benadryl) prior to receiving the vaccine. Taking these medications may mask any existing symptoms you may be experiencing in addition to any allergic reaction you may have following the vaccination.
You can take these over-the-counter medications to relieve post-vaccination side effects if you have no other medical reasons that prevent you from taking these medications normally.
Should I be concerned that the vaccines have been put on the ‘fast track?’
No. Fast track does not mean cutting corners or skipping over clinical trials.
Clinical trials include studying thousands of individuals who volunteered to get the COVID-19 vaccine before it was FDA approved. They were watched over by the medical scientists to determine how well the vaccine worked to create immunity from COVID-19.
Fast track – in the case of COVID-19 vaccines – is all about the intense focus to create a vaccine that is in great need.
How do we know these vaccines are safe?
Prior to the FDA granting EUA, the safety and efﬁcacy of the vaccines were reviewed by scientists and public health experts. These include:
- Panels of independent experts retained by the companies
- FDA scientiﬁc staff
- An independent panel of experts brought together by the FDA
Once a vaccine is released to the public, the CDC and the FDA continue to monitor individuals who receive the vaccine for any safety issues.
Does the vaccine cause side effects?
After COVID-19 vaccination, you may have some side effects. This is a normal sign that your body is building protection.
The CDC states that acetaminophen (Tylenol) and/or ibuprofen (Advil) may be taken AFTER you receive the vaccine if you develop side effects such as fever, chills, muscle aches or pain, or reddening of the skin at the injection site. Taking any over-the-counter pain relief medication prior to receiving the vaccine is not recommended. Consider applying ice locally to the injection site if you experience any swelling or soreness.
Mild to moderate side effects reported during clinical trials were more common following the second dose with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Those side effects include fever, headache, redness around the location of the shot and muscle pain or muscle aches.
During clinical trials with the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine, the most common side effects were pain around the injection site, headache, fatigue and muscle pain.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was paused after six women developed rare and severe blood clots. The CDC and FDA has lifted the pause and issued updated information about the risk of developing blood clots on the revised fact sheet.
Please consult your personal physician for questions.
I take medication for a chronic condition. Will the vaccine interfere with that medication?
Overall, the COVID-19 vaccine has very little drug-to-drug interaction. In fact, very few vaccines do. It would be safe to receive the vaccine in combination with most medications. If you have concerns or questions, however, you should reach out to your doctor or your pharmacist so they can answer your questions.
Supply & Availability
Do the OSF retail pharmacies offer the COVID-19 vaccine?
At this time, the OSF Pharmacy locations do not offer a vaccination program. Administering vaccines is not a new service for retail pharmacies, as they offer a variety of adult vaccine programs. While we encourage our patients to seek out a vaccination through OSF when possible, getting vaccinated is the main goal and having more locations to provide vaccinations gives people more opportunity to do that.
Can young children, preteens and teens get vaccinated?
Yes, kids 6 months to 17 can receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.The manufacturers have different dosage amounts for kids in younger age groups. See the fact sheets in the chart above.
Anyone 18 or older can also receive the Modern and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
Who Can Get a COVID-19 Vaccine?
Who should not receive a COVID-19 vaccine?
The FDA has authorized the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for children age 6 months and older.
You should not proceed with a COVID-19 vaccine if you:
- Have received monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma in the last 90 days
- Are currently experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, such as a cough, fever or headache
- Have experienced anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction) to a COVID-19 vaccine or any ingredient in the vaccines
- Have a compromised immune system due to a health condition or treatment
Can I get the vaccine if I’ve previously received passive antibody therapy for the treatment of COVID-19?
Yes, you can be vaccinated, but you must defer vaccination for at least 90 days if you have received COVID-19 monoclonal antibody therapy (bamlanivimab – BAM – or COMBO infusion) OR convalescent plasma. There is no recommended minimum interval between non-COVID-19 antibody therapies and the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
What if I received a vaccine recently for another disease, such as pneumonia or shingles. Can I still get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes, you can still get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Should I get the vaccine if I’m pregnant or planning to get pregnant?
COVID-19 vaccination is recommended by the CDC for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future.
Evidence about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy has been growing. These data suggest that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy.
Although the overall risk of severe illness is low, pregnant and recently pregnant people are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 when compared with non-pregnant people. Severe illness includes illness that requires hospitalization, intensive care, need for a ventilator or special equipment to breathe, or illness that results in death.
Additionally, pregnant people with COVID-19 are at increased risk of preterm birth and might be at increased risk of other adverse pregnancy outcomes, compared with pregnant women without COVID-19.
Do the COVID-19 vaccines affect fertility in women or men?
When it comes to fertility, experts are more concerned about the impact of the virus itself rather than the vaccine.
For men, researchers identified the SARS-CoV-2 virus can enter the testes, but it remains unclear how significant the impact is on male fertility at this time. Because the COVID-19 vaccines do not use the live virus, we do not expect them to have an impact on male fertility.
For women, infertility is not known to occur as a result of the COVID-19 virus or the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.
Reports on social media that claim the vaccines could cause infertility or are involved in the formation of the placenta are false, and the FDA is concerned that this misinformation may cause women to avoid vaccination unnecessarily.
What if I have tested positive for COVID-19?
COVID-19 vaccines should be offered regardless of a person’s prior positive COVID-19 infection. However, someone with a current COVID-19 infection should wait until recovering from all symptoms and until they are cleared to discontinue isolation before receiving the vaccine.
I participated in an investigational trial for a COVID-19 vaccine. What should I do?
If you participated in an investigational trial for a COVID-19 vaccine and are unsure if you received the vaccine or a placebo, you need to contact the trial to ask them to unblind what you received during the trial. This will provide you the information to tell you if you’ve actually been vaccinated.
After Receiving the Vaccine
If I get a COVID-19 vaccine, do I still need to wear a mask around others?
As we continue to experience variants and surges in this pandemic, you should take all precautions following vaccination.
Protect yourself and others in many situations by wearing a mask that fits snugly against the sides of your face and doesn’t have gaps. Take precaution whenever you are:
- In a health care setting or where required by state or local law or business and workplace guidance
It’s important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions.
If you're not vaccinated:
- Wear a mask when around others
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others
- Avoid crowds
- Wash your hands often
How long after the vaccine am I immune?
It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it's possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick.
How long will the vaccine protect me?
Research continues, but at this time, boosters for all three vaccines are recommended at five months following the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna or two months following the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
What do I do after my vaccine visit?
Continue to wear your mask, practice physical distancing and wash your hands frequently. Additionally, follow up with a booster as CDC guidance states.
OSF HealthCare is your trusted source for information about COVID-19 and vaccines.
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