After almost a year of waiting, the COVID-19 vaccine is finally here. Health systems, local health departments, and vaccination sites are all working hard to ensure that they meet the patient demand during the vaccine rollout.
While others are looking forward to receiving their shot, others feel worried about what happens before, during, and after the vaccination. There is nothing wrong with having a few jitters on getting the vaccine. But according to medical experts, it is important to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is available in your country.
Since COVID-19 is a new disease with plenty of vaccine types, you may have a few questions before and after you get vaccinated. While waiting for your first shot, you need to know the proper health guidelines before getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
Research about the vaccine
Before your vaccination appointment, it is important to know the type of COVID-19 vaccine you will receive.
Instead of reading unauthorized medical blogs, take time to read about vaccine facts on credible website sources, such as U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other reputable healthcare websites.
Knowing about the vaccine will get you prepared for the potential side effects. But before you freak out, having certain reactions after vaccination is completely normal.
Expect pain, swelling, or redness around the injection site. Fever, fatigue, and headache may also occur, but they are not uncommon in the first three days after your vaccination. These mild reactions will easily subside after a few days.
Keep in mind that the COVID-19 vaccine is completely safe with 95% effectiveness. Don’t even think that it can give you COVID-19 because it is free of live viruses. Rather, a single vaccine contains messenger RNA (mRNA), taken from COVID-19’s genetic code of spike protein. This protein will prompt our immune system to create protective antibody proteins to protect you against the COVID-19 infection.
Vaccine manufacturers work with COVID-19 drug testing service providers to make sure they develop the most effective drug candidate in preventing COVID-19. To create clinically approved therapeutic drugs, the drug testing service uses quality data and support to produce comprehensive and accurate results.
Arrive well-rested with a full stomach
A day before the vaccination appointment, make sure that you get full eight hours of sleep. Having a well-rested body will help your immune system to function to its fullest potential.
Before arriving at the site, make sure that you have a full stomach. You never know if there will be several people lining up at the vaccination site. You don’t want to go hungry or thirsty while waiting in line.
Know your second appointment
Most COVID-19 vaccines will require two shots for them to work. These include Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that include a priming dose and a booster shot. According to their companies, the vaccine will be fully effective once you receive the second shot.
There is no need to panic if you cannot make it on the exact date of your second COVID-19 shot. According to CDC, you should receive the second dose within three weeks to one month, but there is no maximum interval between the two doses. But make sure that you are not too late to receive the second shot.
Keep the vaccine record card
While at the vaccine site, you will receive a vaccine record card with your complete name, vaccination date, and vaccine brand name. Never lose the card because you will use it for the second vaccine. You can also take a picture so that you have an extra copy on your phone.
On the second appointment, present the card to the healthcare workers to let them know of the date you receive the vaccine and the type of vaccine you received. You may also find the card useful when traveling abroad or visiting public places, such as your workplace.
Monitor side effects
Once you receive the shot, the healthcare worker will ask you to wait for 15 to 30 minutes before leaving the site to observe any allergic reaction. After a few hours, expect chills, headaches, body aches, and pain in the injection site. Having these side effects means that the vaccine is working, and your body is forming an immune response.
To ease the symptoms, ask your physician for the right medicine. But never take medicine before the vaccination to prevent further side effects or blunt the immune response.
Follow health guidelines
As you wait for the next dose, it is important to continue following the right health guidelines to prevent COVID-19. You never know who has received their shots and who hasn’t, so it is important to wear a mask, observe social distancing, and practice good health habits.
The COVID-19 vaccine is an essential tool to end the pandemic and protect the safety and health of the people around you. As your respective states are making efforts to organize the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, you have to do your part by following healthcare guidelines and keeping yourself informed.