What to Know When Preparing for Your COVID-19 Vaccine

As the coronavirus vaccine rollout continues around the world, you may be wondering how best to prepare for getting your shot. How will you know if you are eligible to get a vaccine, how do you sign up, and what should you do prior to your vaccination appointment? Here are a few things you should know before heading out to get your coronavirus vaccine.

Determining Your Eligibility

Though every state in the United States has a slightly different method for the vaccine rollout, in general, you will need to determine which phase of the vaccine rollout you fit into. Do a bit of research into the vaccine guidelines in your area, and if you are still unsure where you fit, give your primary care doctor a call. They can help you figure out when you will be eligible to make a vaccination appointment and guide you to a location where you can get the vaccine.

Before You Go

Experts note that severe allergic reactions to the vaccine are quite rare, but if you have had reactions to vaccines in the past, have underlying medical conditions, or are pregnant, you may want to consult with your doctor about getting the vaccine. It is important to note that while most adults over the age of 16 are encouraged to get it, you should still see your doctor for advice.

The CDC also notes that you should not schedule your COVID-19 vaccine appointment within 14 days of receiving any other vaccine, though that is relatively common advice and recommended for any vaccine. Also, although severe reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine are rare, you may experience some mild symptoms including fatigue, headache, or pain at the injection site. Typically, these will be mild enough to allow you to continue about your day. In any case, you may want to give yourself a day of rest after the appointment to recover.

At the Vaccination Appointment

When you go to your vaccine appointment, consider double masking, per new CDC recommendations. Experts now recommend layering a cloth mask over a surgical mask for extra protection from the virus. If you feel sick the day of your vaccine appointment, then you should reschedule. Although getting the vaccine is incredibly important, it is not worth potentially spreading the disease to others if you happen to have it the day of your appointment. Reschedule and wait until you are feeling better. It is also important to note that even if you have already had COVID-19, you can still get the vaccine.