7 steps to prepare for your COVID-19 vaccines

Older woman getting vaccine

You might be wondering what to expect for your appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine. In many ways, the COVID-19 vaccines are just like other vaccines you've seen before. Follow these seven steps to prepare for your upcoming vaccination.

1. Don't get other vaccines at the same time

Before you get the COVID-19 vaccine, avoid getting any other vaccines for 14 days. Once you've had your second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, wait 14 days to get any other vaccines. It's more important to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it's available. So adjust the timing of your other vaccines to make sure you get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. 

2. Pick up some pain relievers

Check your supply of over-the-counter medicine, like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. These medicines can help if you develop side effects like fever, pain and headaches. Side effects are normal and mean your immune system is responding to the vaccine. Most people experience more side effects after the second dose.

3. Grab groceries ahead of time

Get groceries before you're scheduled to get your shot. Pick up things you'd get if you were sick, like chicken noodle soup, crackers and sports drinks. The COVID-19 vaccine will not give you COVID-19, but some people feel nausea as a side effect.

4. Be ready to roll

Wear a shirt with sleeves that are easy to roll up or a jacket over a short-sleeved shirt. Bonus points if you wear a favorite outfit perfect for posting your #IGotTheShot selfie on social media later.

5. Hydrate

Eat something and drink water the day of your vaccination. Some people get nervous when they get any kind of shot and can feel dizzy or lightheaded. Proper nutrition and hydration will combat that.

6. Plan to take it easy

If you can schedule your second dose when you have time to rest, that's ideal. Some people may need to take the next day off work if they're feeling under the weather.

7. Ask these kids how they do it

Watch our pediatric patients explain how they take their shots. They give excellent advice!