Get your COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccines are available for every patient of Oak Street Health, at all of our locations across the country. Getting the vaccine can help you stay healthier, and move us past this pandemic. Schedule your COVID-19 vaccination appointment.
Should I get the vaccine?
COVID-19 vaccines are designed to help our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19, so that our body is ready to fight the virus if exposed.
If you get COVID-19, you are at risk of giving it to loved ones who may get very sick. The vaccine will help protect you and others around you, like friends and family. You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine.
Is the vaccine safe?
The first available COVID-19 vaccines underwent extensive phase 3 clinical trials with many people participating (over 30,000 people per vaccine) across diverse ages, races, and ethnicities. The vaccines have been tested at the highest-level for efficacy and safety.
While we don’t know how long protection lasts for those who get infected or those who are vaccinated, the benefits of vaccine-acquired immunity outweigh the risk of natural infection, which has the potential to cause serious illness or death.
The vaccine alone will not be the “perfect fix.” You will still need to practice other precautions, like wearing a mask, social distancing, and hand washing — until public health officials say otherwise.
At Oak Street Health, keeping our patients healthy is our top priority, and we recommend that our patients get the COVID-19 vaccine, and continue social distancing, as well as wearing a mask whenever possible.
What vaccines are available?
At this time, there are two companies that requested an EAU (Emergency Use Authorization) for their vaccine: Pfizer/BioNtech and Moderna. Both vaccines have shown to be highly effective (well over 90%) in their phase 3 trials, with limited adverse events.
There are at least 10 other vaccines in phase 3 trials at this time, and we expect more vaccines to become available in the coming months.
Scientists had already begun research for coronavirus vaccines, which allowed for rapid development. Previous outbreaks caused by coronaviruses, like SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) increased scientific investments in coronavirus vaccine research more than 15 years ago.
COVID-19 vaccine questions
- Does Oak Street Health offer the COVID-19 vaccine?
Oak Street Health is now offering COVID-19 vaccinations to those who qualify based on state guidance and availability in select markets, while supplies last. If you have questions about whether or not you qualify to receive a vaccine, please visit the department of public health website in your county to see when and where vaccines are available to you.
- How does the vaccination process work?
The vaccines are administered via shots/injections. Nearly all COVID-19 vaccines require two doses. The first dose starts building protection, but you need to come back a few weeks later for the second one. Immunity is not guaranteed without both doses. See a CDC guide for what to expect when you get vaccinated.
- What are the side effects?
Most people do not have serious problems after being vaccinated. The side effects that have been reported from the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines appear to be short-lived (1-2 days). Older adults are less likely to have serious side effects vs. younger people. Side effects are more common after the second dose than the first dose. CDC guidelines require the monitoring of all vaccine recipients for at least 15 minutes, which has allowed for quick responses to any adverse reaction experienced. If you have a history of anaphylaxis, you will be monitored for 30 minutes. Additionally, if you have a history of allergies, e.g., food or drug allergies, this does not mean you are allergic to vaccines. The vaccinator will ask about your allergies before vaccination. See more information.
- If I get vaccinated, can I stop wearing a mask?
No. while the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have proven to be effective in preventing COVID-19, there is a possibility that when you get vaccinated, you can be an asymptomatic spreader, meaning you can have the disease without knowing it. Early evidence from the Moderna vaccine shows promise that it can prevent the spread of the disease (more data is needed for the Pfizer vaccine). At this time, both the CDC and public health experts advise that even if you are vaccinated, masks should continue to be worn, practice social distancing, and wash your hands frequently.
- If I already got COVID-19, do I need the vaccine?
The CDC is recommending that people previously infected with COVID-19 get the vaccine as it appears that people may become susceptible to reinfection more than 90 days after initial infection (this is very rare).
- Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine with the flu vaccine?
Due to the lack of data on getting the COVID-19 vaccine with any other vaccine, the FDA recommends a 14-day period between the COVID-19 vaccine and any other vaccine.
- Can you mix vaccines between shots?
It is strongly recommended to avoid mixing vaccines (Pfizer/BioNtech and Moderna) between your first and second dose. If you receive your vaccine at Oak Street Health, we will ensure that you receive the same vaccine for both dose 1 and dose 2.
- How many doses of the Moderna vaccine will I receive?
The Moderna vaccine requires two doses for full effectiveness. The second dose is administered 28 days after the first dose. If you receive your first dose of Moderna at Oak Street Health, we will ensure you receive the second dose of Moderna.
- How much protection is there from the Moderna vaccine?
The Moderna vaccine can provide up to 80.2% protection after one dose, and up to 94.1% protection after the second dose. Full protection from the vaccine won’t kick in until two weeks after the second dose. However, even after you receive both doses of the vaccine, you should continue to wear your mask over your nose and mouth, thoroughly wash your hands, and practice social distancing.
- How many doses of the Pfizer vaccine will I receive?
The Pfizer vaccine requires 2 doses for full effectiveness. The second dose is administered 21 days after the first dose. If you receive your first dose of Pfizer at Oak Street Health, we will ensure you receive the second dose of Pfizer.
- How much protection is there from the Pfizer vaccine?
The Pfizer vaccine can provide up to 52% protection after one dose, and up to 95% protection after the second dose. Full protection from the vaccine won’t kick in until two weeks after the second dose. However, even after you receive both doses of the vaccine, you should continue to wear your mask over your nose and mouth, thoroughly wash your hands, and practice social distancing.
- How effective are the vaccines against the new strain?
At this time, experts are cautiously optimistic that the current generation of vaccines will provide significant protection against the emerging coronavirus variants. Researchers are continuing to closely study the new variants and the effectiveness of the vaccines against them.
- When will my second dose appointment be scheduled?
If you are receiving your vaccine at Oak Street Health, you will schedule your second dose with us and receive a COVID-19 vaccination record card before you leave your appointment for your first dose. Please be sure to bring your CDC vaccination record card back for your second dose.
If you are receiving your vaccine outside Oak Street Health, be sure to consult with the team administering your first dose about a follow-up appointment before leaving.
- How are healthcare and essential workers defined in phases 1A and 1B added to the Oak Street Health vaccine list?
Oak Street Health has prioritized vaccinating individuals aged 65+ who live near our centers. At this time, we are not offering vaccines to other groups. Please visit your local department of health’s website for additional information on locations offering vaccines to healthcare workers, essential workers and others in your area.
- How will I be notified about vaccine availability?
We are currently prioritizing individuals 65+ who live near our centers. We will use the contact information you provided, when you filled out our COVID-19 vaccine interest form, to reach out to you as soon as there is an available vaccine appointment for you.
Please do not call us to check on upcoming availability if you are an essential worker. We are working to support all the inquiries from our patients at this time. We will send out text reminders if you have filled out the interest form when we open availability for vaccinations for essential workers.
COVID-19 Vaccine Near You
Oak Street Health is working with state and local governments to provide COVID-19 vaccines to our patients and the communities we serve. To find out if we are offering COVID-19 vaccines near you, view our COVID vaccine location page. Our centers are following state and local government distribution guidance for the COVID vaccine, so check with your local government to see if you are eligible. Sign-Up to receive updates on COVID vaccine availability from Oak Street Health in your area. Oak Street Health also offers a variety COVID testing options.