What to Expect Before and After Your Vaccine Appointment
Because COVID-19 is a new disease with new vaccines, you may have questions about what happens before, during, and after your appointment to get vaccinated. These tips will help you know what to expect when you get vaccinated, what information your provider will give you, and resources you can use to monitor your health after you are vaccinated.
- See if COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for you right now. Click for information on identified priority populations.
- Review the Pre-Vaccination Checklist for COVID-19 Vaccines.
- Learn more about the different types of COVID-19 vaccines and how they work.
- When you go to your appointment, remember to cover your mouth and nose with a mask when you are around others and stay at least 6 feet away from others. Learn more about protecting yourself from COVID-19 during visits to the doctor or a pharmacy
When you get Vaccinated
- You should receive a vaccination card or printout that tells you what COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it, and where you received it.
- You should receive a paper or electronic version of a fact sheet that tells you more about the specific COVID-19 vaccine you are being offered. Each authorized COVID-19 vaccine has its own fact sheet that contains information to help you understand the risks and benefits of receiving that specific vaccine.
- With most COVID-19 vaccines, you will need two shots in order for them to work. Get the second shot even if you have side effects after the first one, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get a second shot.
- Ask your healthcare provider about getting started with v-safe, a free, smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccination. V-safe also reminds you to get your second dose if you need one. More information about v-safe can be found here.
- It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines that require 2 shots may not protect you until a week or two after your second shot.
Fact Sheets for Recipients and Caregivers
Common side effects
On the arm where the vaccine was given: pain, swelling
Throughout the rest of the day: fever, chills, tiredness, headache
When to call the doctor
In most cases, discomfort from fever or pain is normal. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider:
- If the redness or tenderness where you go the shot increases after 24 hours
- If your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days
The information above is provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.