Updated May 8 2021
Esperanza Health Centers now has several COVID-19 vaccine options for you!
- MODERNA: Esperanza Health Centers offers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine free of charge to any person 18 years of age and older. The Moderna vaccine is administered at our vaccination centers below and appointments can be made by calling (773) 584-6200. We also accept walk-ins.
- PFIZER: Esperanza Health Centers offers the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine free of charge to any person 12 years of age and older. The Pfizer vaccine is administered at our Esperanza clinics only (not our vaccination centers) and an appointment is needed. Please call (773) 584-6200 to schedule your visit with us.
DO I NEED TO BRING AN ID? You do NOT need to bring an official government-issued ID to get your vaccine, but we do need something with your name and address, like a piece of mail or a bill. The reason we ask for this is simply to verify the identity of the person receiving the vaccine. We will not ask about your immigration status. The vaccine is administered at not cost to you regardless of your immigration status.
Esperanza Vaccination Sites
Esperanza Vaccination Center Southwest
6057 S. Western Ave.
(On the corner of 61st St. and Western Ave.)
Tuesday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Wednesday - Friday: 12:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Saturday: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Your COVID-19 vaccine questions
Are these vaccines effective?
According to data from the clinical trials, all vaccines were shown to be highly effective against severe COVID-19, hospitalization and death. This irepresents an exciting turning point in our fight against the pandemic.
Are these vaccines safe?
Over the past few months, millions of people have received a COVID-19 vaccine across the United States without any significant safety concerns. Vaccines were well tolerated by most recipients and are considered safe.
Are these vaccines safe for pregnant and/or lactating patients?
Both the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine recommend that COVID-19 vaccines should be offered to pregnant, lactating, and non-lactating individuals. Although it is not necessary, Esperanza recommends discussing this with your health care provider before receiving your first vaccine.
Are these vaccines safe for children?
Because children were not included as part of any initial clinical trials, it is too early to determine whether the vaccine shows efficacy in children. However, Pfizer and Moderna have begun clinical trials for children in the U.S. The emergency use authorization for Moderna currently applies to adults 18 years of age and older while the EUA for Pfizer applies to individuals 16 and older.
How does the vaccine against COVID-19 work?
Vaccines have existed for hundreds of years and they all work by activating our immune systems to create defenses against specific diseases. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines act in the same way. They use a molecule (called mRNA) that instructs our bodies to create a single, harmless protein that is found in the SARS-CoV-2 virus. When our immune system detects this protein, it will begin to create antibodies capable of destroying it, thus giving us immunity against the COVID-19 virus and keeping us healthy.
It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity (protection against the virus that causes COVID-19) after vaccination. That means it is possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.
Can these vaccines make me sick with COVID-19?
The only thing that can make you sick with COVID-19 is live SARS-CoV-2 virus. None of the COVID-19 vaccines use any live virus and, therefore, cannot make you sick.
Will I experience side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine?
Side effects are not uncommon when you receive any vaccine and the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are no exception. While most side effects are mild and tend to resolve in about a day, severe side effects can result when you have a strong immune response to the vaccine. In the Moderna trial the most common side effects were fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, and headache while among those who received the Pfizer vaccine, severe side effects included fatigue and headache.
How long will I be protected from COVID-19?
Some vaccines give us lifelong immunity while others protect us for only a short period of time (that is why we get a flu shot every year). While we do not yet know how long immunity lasts from a COVID-19 vaccine, remember, any amount of protection could make a huge difference in keeping us and our families healthy and slowing the spread of the pandemic. As we learn more about COVID-19 immunity, we will update with more information.
After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, will I test positive for COVID-19 on a viral test?
No. Neither the recently authorized and recommended vaccines nor the other COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials in the U.S. can cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection. If your body develops an immune response – the goal of vaccination – there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.
How much will the vaccine cost?
Federal health officials have said that any approved COVID-19 vaccine will be free to everyone who wants one in 2020 and 2021, regardless of your insurance status. Vaccines will be covered under Medicare and Medicaid.
How are the vaccines delivered?
Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require TWO (2) doses administered three to four weeks apart to give you immunity against COVID-19, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires ONE (1) dose. The shot is administered in your upper arm/shoulder area.