If you have specific questions about COVID-19 vaccinations, including booster shots, you are encouraged to talk to your primary healthcare provider. Students may also contact Student Health Services at health-services@neiu.edu or (773) 442-5800.

Where can I get vaccinated?

IDPH is the overall authority responsible for distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in the State of Illinois, while the Chicago Department of Public Health is responsible for vaccine distribution in the city. View the vaccination locations for the State of Illinois, Cook County and Chicago.

Vaccine types

COVID-19 vaccinations are being produced using new and existing vaccine technologies:

  • mRNA vaccines are a new type of vaccine to protect against infectious diseases. mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein—or even just a piece of a protein—that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech are the two vaccines currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be used to vaccinate against COVID-19. Be aware:
    • This type of vaccination cannot give someone COVID-19 because mRNA vaccines do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19.
    • This vaccination does not affect or interact with our DNA in any way. mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA (genetic material) is kept.
  • Viral Vector vaccine uses a safe virus to deliver specific sub-parts—called proteins—of the COVID-19 virus, so that it can trigger an immune response without causing disease. The Astra Zeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines use this technology and are in the final stages of FDA approval. Be aware:
    • This vaccine cannot give someone COVID-19 or other infections. Viral vectors cannot cause infection with COVID-19 or with the virus used as the vaccine vector.
    • This vaccine does not affect or interact with our DNA in any way. The genetic material delivered by the viral vector does not become part of a person’s DNA.

Understanding COVID vaccines

Vaccine safety

The FDA has granted Emergency Use Authorizations for two COVID-19 vaccines that have been shown to be safe and effective as determined by data from the manufacturers and findings from large clinical trials. These data demonstrate that the known and potential benefits of this vaccine outweigh the known and potential harms of becoming infected with COVID-19.

Side effects

As with all vaccines, there are side effects associated with administration of the COVID-19 vaccines. The benefits associated with vaccination have been found to outweigh the associated risks.

Public health recommendations for vaccinated persons

Given the currently limited information on how much the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines may reduce transmission in the general population and how long protection lasts, vaccinated persons should continue to follow all current guidance to protect themselves and others. This includes wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, avoiding crowds, washing hands often, following CDC travel guidance, following quarantine guidance after an exposure to someone with COVID-19, and following any applicable workplace or school guidance, including guidance related to personal protective equipment use or SARS-CoV-2 testing.