COVID-19 vaccines - what to expect: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

Sarah Knowel

COVID-19 vaccines are used to strengthen the body’s immune method and protect versus COVID-19. These vaccines are a very important device to help cease the COVID-19 pandemic.

Understand what to anticipate prior to and following you are vaccinated for COVID-19.


Verify with your point out wellness section to locate out when you are qualified to get a vaccine. You need to be able to come across out how to indication up for a vaccine and at what site. You can also verify the CDC VaccineFinder to locate out where to get a vaccine in your region.

In advance of you go to your appointment, verify your confirmation e-mails to find out what you could want to convey to the appointment. For instance, you may want your driver’s license or other ID or evidence of eligibility.

If you acquire any medicines, you really should maintain having them as you usually do. If you acquire medicines that influence the immune process, talk with your wellness treatment company to uncover out if having the COVID-19 vaccine will get the job done or trigger any complications for you.

You really should not take around-the-counter ache relievers this kind of as aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen to help prevent facet results before you get the vaccine. It is not regarded if these medications will have an impact on how perfectly the vaccine will work. On the other hand, if you take these medications frequently for other reasons, you can get them as you constantly do.

You should really also not get antihistamines to assistance avert an allergic response just before you get the vaccine.

If you have any inquiries about your medications, talk to your health care supplier or the vaccine service provider.


You will need to dress in a mask at the vaccination site the entire time. Absolutely everyone else at the internet site will also have to dress in a mask. Try to keep at minimum 6 feet away from other people at all instances.

Just after you get your vaccine, you will hold out at the vaccination web-site for 15 minutes to make absolutely sure you do not have a extreme allergic response to the shot (this is incredibly unusual). If you have had a prior significant allergic reaction or if you have experienced an fast reaction to immunizations in the past, you may will need to wait around for 30 minutes as a precaution. Vaccination web pages are geared up to present rapid treatment for serious allergic reactions and call for emergency health-related treatment.

At your appointment, you will likely agenda the date of your second dose if you are getting a 2-dose vaccine. You should get a vaccination card that tells you what vaccine you received and the day and area you gained it. Be guaranteed to retain this card if needed for potential use. You will will need to provide it with you for your 2nd dose if you are receiving a 2-dose vaccine.

You need to contact the vaccination company site:

  • If you did not get a vaccination card or you reduce your card
  • If you did not program an appointment for a 2nd dose
  • If you require to reschedule your second dose

You can also speak to your condition well being office if you have issues about COVID-19 vaccinations.


If you obtained a person of the 2-dose vaccines, you will will need to acquire your 2nd dose within just a unique number of weeks. You have to have to get the exact same type (brand name) of vaccine for your next dose as you acquired for your first.

  • If you obtained the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, you really should get your next Pfizer shot about 21 times (3 weeks) after the first shot.
  • If you acquired the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you ought to get your second Moderna shot about 28 days (4 weeks) just after the initially shot.
  • The day you get your 1st shot, you will very likely also routine the date for your second shot.
  • It usually takes time for your immune process to commence defending you following getting the vaccine. You are regarded thoroughly vaccinated 2 months just after your next dose.

If you bought the 1-dose vaccine:

  • You only have to have just one shot for this vaccine to protect you in opposition to COVID-19.
  • It requires time for your immune technique to start off safeguarding you following acquiring the vaccine. You are regarded totally vaccinated 2 weeks following your shot.

You are not completely vaccinated if it has been fewer than 2 months considering the fact that your 1-dose shot or your second 2-dose shot. You are not thoroughly vaccinated if you have only acquired 1 dose of a 2-dose vaccine.

Absolutely vaccinated individuals can resume actions with out wearing a mask or bodily distancing, except where needed by federal, condition, community, tribal, or territorial rules, regulations, and regulations, like neighborhood enterprise and office steering.

The CDC has suggestions for what it is secure to do at the time you are totally vaccinated.

VACCINE Aspect Results

When COVID-19 vaccines will not make you sick, they may lead to selected side effects and flu-like indicators. This is standard. These signs or symptoms are a indication that your human body is building antibodies versus the virus.

Typical aspect effects involve:

  • Pain, redness, and inflammation on the arm exactly where you bought the shot
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle mass+ny
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea

Some individuals get a pink, itchy, swollen, unpleasant rash in the arm where by they acquired the shot. This is known as “COVID arm.” This can arise times immediately after having the very first shot. You should however get your next shot if you obtained a 2-dose vaccine. You can request to have it in the other arm.

To assist decrease side consequences you should really:

  • Shift the arm wherever you received the shot frequently throughout the day
  • Implement a cleanse, cool washcloth to ease swelling and irritation
  • Drink a lot of fluids
  • Dress lightly if you have a fever

Note that the aspect outcomes from the next dose might be far more extreme than these from the first shot. Signs and symptoms from the shot could make you truly feel poor adequate that you require to consider time off from function or everyday functions, but they should go away within just a several times. Even if you do have side consequences, it is however important to get the next shot. The challenges of any aspect outcomes from the vaccine are much much less risky than the possible for really serious sickness or death from COVID-19.

You may be instructed by the vaccine supplier that you can get acetaminophen or a different OTC medicine this kind of as ibuprofen or aspirin to assist alleviate any vaccine aspect outcomes. Or, talk with your physician about taking OTC medicine if you are not certain.

If indicators do not go away in a couple of times, or if you have any problems, you should call your well being care company.

In scarce cases, men and women have had severe and non-serious allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccines. If you have a critical or non-significant allergic reaction after having the very first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, you ought to not get the second shot. Communicate with your overall health treatment service provider to see if there are other options.

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