Ending COVID-19

One Shot At A Time

What can you do to help combat COVID-19? There is a lot of information out there about coronavirus and its vaccine.  We are here to help you sort the facts from the myths.  Our goal is to help you decide if the vaccine is the right choice for you and your family.

Step One:

Get Informed

Have the facts to make the best decision for you.

About Coronavirus disease (a.k.a. COVID-19)
There are many germs out there that can make us sick. Coronavirus disease, also called COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2, is caused by a virus. The first case of COVID-19 was reported Dec. 1, 2019, and the cause was a then-new coronavirus later named SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2 may have originated in an animal and changed (mutated) so it could cause illness in humans. Research continues, and more study may reveal how and why the coronavirus evolved to cause pandemic disease.

COVID-19 is the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that emerged in December 2019. COVID-19 can be severe and has caused millions of deaths and lasting health problems. The coronavirus can be spread from person to person. It is diagnosed with a test. The best way to protect yourself is to get vaccinated and boosted when you are eligible, To prevent the spread of coronavirus wear a mask, wash your hands and practice physical distancing.

COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • Cough
  • Fever or chills
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • New fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Congestion or runny nose

If you think you may have coronavirus, get tested today.  Click here to find a free testing center near you.

If you have a fever or any of the symptoms listed above, call your doctor or a health care provider and explain your symptoms over the phone before going to the doctor’s office, urgent care facility or emergency room

Coronavirus can affect people differently. The COVID-19 vaccine can reduce the risk of severe health problems.  Some people experience mild symptoms or even no symptoms.  Others may require hospitalization or long-term care. 

Here are suggestions if you feel sick and are concerned you might have COVID-19.

Coronavirus is a virus. The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads.  (World Health Organization, 2021)

Coronavirus is a virus, not a bacteria. Click Here to learn the differences between viruses and bacteria. Antibiotics treat bacterial infections, not viruses.  Vaccines are used to treat and prevent viruses.

Viruses can change over time. The longer viruses can stick around, the more time it has to change. When a virus changes it is called a variant. When our bodies are faced with a new variant, the vaccine has the potential to fight it off due to our immune system being familiar with the original virus.  The more people who are vaccinated against covid 19, the less of a chance the virus gets to continue mutating. 

To understand how COVID-19 vaccines work, it helps to first look at how our bodies fight illness. When germs, such as the virus that causes COVID-19, get into our bodies, they multiply and can cause infection. The infection is what causes illness or symptoms. Our immune system uses several tools to fight infection.  The first time a person is infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, it can take several days or weeks for their body to make and use all the germ-fighting tools needed to get over the infection. After the infection, the person’s immune system remembers what it learned about how to protect the body against that disease.

The body keeps a few “memory cells,” that go into action quickly if the body encounters the same virus again. 

Click Here to understand how vaccines work.

Vaccine Safety, Overview, History, and How it Works


COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without us having to get the illness. Different types of vaccines work in different ways to offer protection. But with all types of vaccines, the body is left with a supply of “memory cells” that will remember how to fight that virus in the future.

It typically takes a few weeks after vaccination for the body to produce these cells Therefore, it is possible that a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and then get sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection and create these cells.

Sometimes after vaccination, the process of building immunity can cause symptoms, such as fever, aches, chills, fatigue, or a sore arm. These symptoms are normal and are signs that the body is building immunity to protect you from the COVID 19 virus.

Learn more about getting your vaccine.

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021)

Currently, there are three main types of COVID-19 vaccines 

mRNA vaccines contain material from the virus that causes COVID-19 that gives our cells instructions for how to make a harmless protein that is unique to the virus. After our cells make copies of the protein, they destroy the genetic material from the vaccine. Our bodies recognize that the protein should not be there and  cells remember how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19 if we are infected in the future.

Vector vaccines contain a modified version of a different virus than the one that causes COVID-19. Inside the shell of the modified virus, there is material from the virus that causes COVID-19. This is called a “viral vector.” Once the viral vector is inside our cells, the genetic material gives cells instructions to make a protein that is unique to the virus that causes COVID-19. Using these instructions, our cells make copies of the protein. This prompts our bodies to build T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight that virus if we are infected in the future.

Some COVID-19 vaccines require more than one shot

Two shots: If you get a COVID-19 vaccine that requires two shots, you are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after your second shot. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines require two shots.

One Shot: If you get a COVID-19 vaccine that requires one shot, you are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after your shot. Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine only requires one shot.

If it has been less than two weeks since your shot, or if you still need to get your second shot, you are NOT fully protected. Keep taking steps to protect yourself and others until you are fully vaccinated (two weeks after your final shot).

No. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever, aches, chills, sore arm. These symptoms are normal and are signs that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work, but it is not the vaccine infecting you with covid 19.

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’s 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.

Want to learn more?

Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC

Call 211 or 877-947-2211.

Step Two:

Make Your Decision

Is the vaccine right for me and my family? Anyone 6 months and older can get vaccinated.

Everyone is different.  The best way to know if the vaccine is right for you or your family is to talk to a doctor or medical provider about your specific concerns or conditions.

Should I get the vaccine if I’m pregnant, breastfeeding or plan to become pregnant? Experts in maternal care strongly encourage people who are pregnant now or want to have children in the future to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Evidence shows they are safe for these individuals.  The COVID-19 vaccine does not impact fertility. We recognize this is an important concern, and that you would not want to do anything that would impact your ability to become pregnant.  Vaccination is safe, effective way to protect yourself from COVID-19 Pregnant people are more likely to become severely sick form COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant people. Pregnant people are at a higher risk for pregnancy complications than pregnant people without COVID-19. 

COVID-19 vaccines are safe for people who are breast feeding too. Several studies have shown no safety concerns for thousands of pregnant people who were vaccinated or for their babies. In vaccinated people antibodies that cross the placenta protect their babies during pregnancy. These antibodies also pass to babies though breastfeeding providing additional protection when the baby is born. Pregnant people have not reported different side effects from non-pregnant people after vaccination

Vaccinate Your Family has gathered some of the most requested resources for families, healthcare providers and other experts. You can narrow your search using filters by audience and by type of resource.

Want to learn more about vaccines and children? The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has a great website about all types of vaccines. Go to https://www.chop.edu/centers-programs/vaccine-education-center to learn more.

Want to hear from other parents about their decision-making process? Go to https://www.voicesforvaccines.org/ to learn more.

While the current Coronavirus is new, it’s part of a larger coronavirus family that has been around a long time. Researchers were working on vaccines for the coronavirus family for years, so they did not have to start from scratch. COVID-19 vaccines went though full clinical trials to show that they are safe and effective, no steps were skipped rather conducted at the same time to create the vaccine faster. People are far more likely to get blood clots or myocarditis after getting covid 19 infections rather than the vaccine. It is much safer to get the vaccine than to stay unvaccinated and get infected with COVID-19.

Is the vaccine safe? Millions of people in the US have safely received the COVID-19 vaccine. 

What are the common COVID-19 vaccine myths? Does the COVID-19 vaccine give you coronavirus? No. COVID-19 vaccines cannot give you the COVID-19 virus. Fully vaccinated people very rarely get sick with COVID-19 and data suggests those who do get sick have less severe symptoms and a lower risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19. People who have been fully vaccinated not only protect themselves but protect the people around them from the virus, too. This includes protection for young children who can’t yet get vaccinated and people with weakened immune systems.  COVID-19 vaccines effectively reduce the risk of COVID-19 for all of the circulating variants. Protecting yourself with the COVID-19 vaccine means you are helping to stop the spread of COVID-19 in your community.

Does the covid 19 vaccine change your DNA? No. Covid 19 vaccines do not change your DNA 

Are vaccines safe for people who are or plan to become pregnant? Yes. COVID-19 vaccines are safe before, during, and after pregnancy

I’ve already had COVID-19 . Why do I need to get the vaccine? The COVID-19 vaccine is proven to be extremely effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalization, and COVID-19 related deaths. People who survive a COVID-19 infection may develop some immunity against COVID-19, but the amount and length of protection is uncertain. 

Is the covid 19 vaccine safe? Yes. All of the COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. are safe and effective in building an immune response against COVID-19 and COVID-19 variants. Evidence continues to demonstrate the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.

Are the things in the vaccine safe? Yes. The vaccine contains mRNA also known as messenger ribonucleic acid. This is the only active ingredient in the vaccine.  mRNA contains instructions for our bodies on how to make a spike protein that triggers an immune response. The immune response is what causes us to make antibodies that will protect us if we get exposed to COVID-19. Lipids protect the mRNA and act as a delivery vehicle to our cells. Their slippery exterior helps the mRNA slide inside the cells easily. Lipids are fat. Salts, in addition to pH stabilizers, help balance the acidity in the vaccine with the acidity in our bodies. They also keep components of the vaccine from separating or breaking down. Basic table sugar, also known as sucrose, helps mRNA maintain its shape during freezing. The vaccines need to be kept at very cold temperatures for storage and transport.

Want to learn more?

DHS COVID-19 Vaccine Information page offers COVID-19 vaccine information.

CDC COVID-19 Vaccination page offers COVID-19 vaccination information and updates from the CDC with links to additional resources.

How Are COVID-19 Vaccines Authorized?


The COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine work to fight different germs. Wearing masks, washing your hands, and limiting contact with others can help prevent you from getting both the flu and COVID-19. However, receiving the seasonal flu shot is still a good idea. The COVID-19 vaccine is effective at preventing you from getting the coronavirus.

Step Three:

Get Vaccinated

Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine? Find a vaccination site near you.

COVID-19 vaccines are free, regardless of whether someone has insurance. People can find and schedule an appointment through the following:

  • vaccines.gov
  • Call (844) 684-1064 with questions about vaccination or for help registering for a vaccination. Assistance is available in English, Spanish, Hmong, Mandarin, Hindi, and Somali.

Want to learn more?

Where to get vaccinated: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/vaccine-get.htm

Want an easy way to find a vaccine near you, go to https://www.vaccines.gov/ for user friendly search tools.

Getting vaccinated does not need to be a stressful process. Here is an overview of what you can expect throughout the COVID-19 vaccination process, how you can make it smooth and stress-free, and how to stay safe until you are fully vaccinated.  The COVID-19 vaccine is free for all. An ID or insurance is not required to get vaccinated.

Arrive at the clinic and check in with the appointment staff. Wait for the nurse to call your name. You will then enter a private area, where you will roll up your sleeve for the nurse to rub an alcohol wipe on your upper arm. The nurse will then put the vaccine in your arm, you will feel a pinch or a prick. After the vaccine, the nurse will place a band aid on your arm. You will need to stay at the clinic for 15 minutes after, to make sure that you are not having any rare side effects, now you are able to go home!

You will need a second, third, or sometimes fourth vaccine over the next few months. After the first series of doses (2 for Moderna and Pfizer and 1 for Johnson&Johnson) you will need a booster in order to have the best protection against COVID-19 .

Ask your nurse when you have to get your next shot if you are unsure. Schedule and write down your next appointment time. After the vaccine some people might have a sore arm, headache, chills, fatigue, or aches. This means your body is working to build up protection against covid 19 and is making memory cells in case you are ever infected by COVID-19 . Do your part to keep yourself and others safe and healthy!

Vaccination sites may require vaccine recipients under the age of 18 to have a parent or legal guardian present.

Postpone your appointment if you don’t feel well, have COVID-19, were exposed to COVID-19

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require that you receive two doses, so you will need to plan for two appointments. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires a single dose.

It takes up to two weeks after your second dose (or your single dose of Johnson & Johnson) to be fully protected, or fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Tips for your vaccination appointment

  • Wear a face mask.
  • Wear short sleeves.
  • Arrive on time.
  • Bring your ID and vaccination card if you have one.
  • Maintain a safe social distance between you, other patients, and staff.
Before Drinking plenty of water, getting a good night’s rest, and eating a balanced meal before your appointment may help lessen possible side effects.
After Immediately after your first dose, you will be observed for at least 15 minutes. If you experience any immediate reactions, make sure to report them to medical staff right away.

Shortly after your first dose, you may experience mild side effects such as:

·       Fever

·       Chills


·       Tiredness

·       Headaches

·       Pain or swelling on your arm where you got the vaccine

These are common signs that your immune system is strengthening its response to the virus. They usually go away within a day or two. Even if you experience side effects from the first dose, it is very important that you get your second dose (if you received a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine), so you have full protection.

Discomfort from fever or pain is normal. However, contact a health care provider if redness or tenderness of the arm where you got the vaccine increases after 24 hours or your side effects worry you or last longer than a few days. If you are having a medical emergency, call 911.

Fully Vaccinated You are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines or two weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Until then, continue to wear a mask in public indoor spaces, physically distance, wash or sanitize your hands frequently and follow CDC’s guidance for choosing safer activities.  (link is external)


Want more information?


Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine (P-02891)


Languages: English, Hindi, Hmong, Somali, Spanish

How Our Bodies Respond to the COVID-19 Vaccine (P-02941)


Languages: English, Hindi, Hmong, Somali, Spanish

You can look up your immunization history on the Wisconsin Immunization Registry. Find the registry here: https://www.dhfswir.org/PR/clientSearch.do?language=en

Why did you get vaccinated?

Why does CAC care about ending the pandemic?

Community Action Coalition for South Central Wisconsin believes everyone should have the opportunity to be as safe and healthy as possible. This means we must pay particular attention to the communities that are most at risk for COVID-19 and have less access to the supports they need to stay healthy. We know that Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and Pacific Islander communities, and other communities of color are most at risk for exposure to COVID — and suffer poorer health outcomes if they get it — because they are often locked out of affordable homes, safe transportation, quality health care, and jobs that offer paid sick leave and options to work from home.

Many of our essential workers who keep our country running — our bus drivers, our farmworkers, our grocery store workers — are from these same communities. The COVID-19 vaccines offer an important opportunity to support and protect those who have been and stand to be most harmed by COVID-19. We know this is only part of the solution, and we must also commit to addressing the social factors that affect our health and that will reduce inequities in health outcomes, like universal basic income, equitable school funding, eviction moratoriums and rent cancellation, and releasing people who are in prison.

This page is made possible through a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Social Development Commission.