Such remarkable scientific achievement was possible due to extensive global research, advances in the fight against cancer and other illnesses, and decades of medical studies. Just like you wouldn’t trust your car repairs to your local butcher because that isn’t their expertise, we know you also wouldn’t trust anyone with your health and wellbeing other than a health care expert. The COVID-19 vaccines passed strict medical safety requirements only after ensuring that the thousands of people from diverse backgrounds - including Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and Latinos - who received them showed they were effective in protecting against COVID-19 with possibly developing minimal side effects.
Overcoming a Chaotic and Challenging Time
Have you found it challenging living in a world with COVID-19?
Are you overwhelmed about your health and how to protect yourself and the ones you love?
According to studies, COVID-19 has been the worst pandemic the world has seen in 100 years. It has traumatized and turned the world upside-down.
You may have lost your job, a friend, a family member, or a neighbor. Yet, you were not able to mourn and grieve your losses. Instead, you found yourself bombarded with messages about what you should and should not do.
At EverThrive Illinois, we are deeply sorry for all you have been through, and we stand beside you.
Caring for yourself, your family, and your community during the pandemic may have been one of the most demanding responsibilities you have faced.
As COVID-19 continues impacting our lives, we are called to adapt and become more educated to make healthy choices for us and those around us. During this ever-changing and challenging time, we want to be Your Champion for Health.
Whether you are a parent or a caregiver, pregnant or recently pregnant, or a community or spiritual leader, we want to offer you our evidence-based information on how you can best protect yourself and others from viruses like COVID-19.
Did you know that we have lived and fought back viruses through vaccines for more than 200 years? Fighting COVID-19 is not an exception.
To date, over 600 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the United States since the vaccine became available in December 2020. However, you might still be skeptical. While it’s reasonable to be suspicious, we want you to know that there is strong scientific evidence for vaccines.
The vaccines teach your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. The vaccines never enter where your DNA is stored. Therefore, they do not change or interact with your DNA in any way.
The vaccines do not contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. So, they cannot make you sick with it. The vaccines may cause side effects for about 24-48 hours. Not everyone experiences symptoms after vaccination, but those who do may experience pain, redness or swelling at the injection site and tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever and/or nausea. These are typical symptoms, signs that your body is building protection against the virus.
Whether you have already had COVID-19 or not, getting vaccinated provides greater protection to those around you since they help reduce the spread of the virus. Because no vaccine is 100% effective at preventing illnesses, some fully vaccinated people can still get sick or need to be hospitalized.
COVID-19 vaccines are available for children 6 months and older and booster shots for everyone 5 years and older, if eligible. COVID-19 shot dosage is based on age on the day of the vaccination, not on the child’s size or weight.
- COVID-19 vaccines were developed quickly, based on research that has been underway for decades.
- Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and those you love. While you might experience symptoms, the effects of the virus are much worse.
- COVID-19 vaccines are available at no cost to everyone, including those who do not have health insurance, are not citizens, or legal permanent residents.
- Your employer may offer time off for you to get vaccinated.
Expecting a baby might be one of the most joyful times in your life. You want to prepare and do your very best to provide, care for, and protect your baby.
Currently, over 200,000 pregnant people have received the COVID-19 vaccination in the United States without any safety concerns. People who are pregnant, nursing, trying to get pregnant right now, or who may become pregnant in the future are advised to get vaccinated against COVID-19, including getting a booster vaccine. Nonetheless, you might still wonder if the COVID-19 vaccine may affect you and your baby, and that is understandable.
COVID-19 vaccines protect.
You can protect yourself and your unborn baby from getting the COVID-19 virus by getting vaccinated. The vaccine tells your body to provide antibodies against the virus, which protects you and your baby. When you get vaccinated while breastfeeding, these same antibodies also protect your baby.
COVID-19 vaccines are safe
Once the vaccine has been injected into your arm, it quickly dissolves while strengthening your immune system to defend you from the virus. The vaccine never reaches your reproductive organs; therefore, it does not affect your natural fertility.
- Avoiding infection with COVID-19 should be a top priority for pregnant people.
- If you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding, experts recommend getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
- The potential risks (severe illness, preterm birth, and death) to you and your baby are much higher if you get sick with COVID-19 than they would be from the vaccine itself.
- Pregnant people with COVID-19 are also at increased risk for preterm birth (delivering the baby earlier than 37 weeks) and might be at increased risk for other poor pregnancy outcomes.
It is essential that you take steps to protect yourself from getting the virus. You can do so by getting a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can. You can also talk to your doctor, nurse, or midwife about navigating pregnancy, your birth plan, and how to best cope with stress and anxiety during this pandemic. Do not delay getting emergency medical care if you need it.
This might be a good time to think about how to become a Champion of Health for you and your family.
You can start by following these steps:
Evaluate your situation, your needs, and determine your and your family’s goals for staying healthy. Keep informed and up to date regarding COVID-19, and the latest recommendations as these are constantly changing due to the evolution of this virus. Your health and wellbeing, as well as your loved ones, are in your hands.
Speak up, seek answers, and source credible and reliable health care experts to validate the information you read and the choices you make.
Get the vaccine and follow safety protocols like the use of masks, social distance, and washing your hands with soap and water.
Your voice matters. Spread the word about what you have learned here and become a champion for healthy choices.
Your Tools and Resources:
Like everything we do at EverThrive Illinois, we want the content on this page to be a source of information and support. Considering various sources, questioning, challenging the information you consume, and assessing it with experts and those you trust might be the best, most responsible way to understand, face, and overcome this crisis.
If you are still deciding whether to get the COVID-19 vaccine or not, stop, and ask yourself: from the two available options – getting the COVID-19 vaccine or not – which one do I want to remember as the one that has benefited me, my family, and my community? Make it the one decision that you don’t have to be scared of to share and talk about with others.
Disclaimer: We are frequently reviewing and updating this information to reflect the most current data available and provided by subject matter experts on the topic of immunization. Updated: 12/6/2021