With North Carolina allowing anyone 16 and older to get the COVID-19 vaccine, more and more of us are signing up for our appointments. Here are some important things you should do before your COVID-19.
- Don’t take pain relievers. “Experts agree that you should not take over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers such as Tylenol or ibuprofen right before you get your COVID shot. These medications could decrease the vaccine’s effectiveness.”
- Before you arrive, make sure to view your appointment confirmation email for details about what identification and proof of eligibility you may or may not have to bring to your appointment. For some vaccine sites, you can use a QR code or additional paperwork to check in.
- Avoid taking steroids if possible. Kathryn A. Boling, MD, a family medicine specialist at Mercy Medical Center, advises people to avoid taking steroids a week before vaccination. If you are already on steroids or other medications, do not stop taking them unless your healthcare provider tells you to.
- Try and use your non-dominant arm for vaccination. A very common side effect of any vaccination is arm pain including the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Wear your mask, sanitize, and stay 6 feet away from others while inside and in lines.
- Stay hydrated. This is something we should do ALL the time, but more important to boost your immune system and minimize any side effects when getting the vaccine.
After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, you should be monitored on-site for at least 15 minutes. Some places have timers on your mobile device to ensure this procedure. You will also get your vaccination card in case you need it for future use. One thing that is very important according to the CDC is not getting more than one vaccine at once or additional vaccines. “Wait at least 14 days after your COVID-19 vaccine before getting any other vaccine, including the flu or shingles vaccine.” Please note if you have recently received any other vaccine first wait at least 14 days before getting your COVID-19 vaccine.
What to expect after getting a COVID-19 vaccine:
You may experience common side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Get helpful tips on how to reduce any pain or discomfort. It is important to note that like any vaccine, it takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination.
You are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after your second dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, or 2 weeks after the single-dose J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. (Currently, J&J might be on pause) You should keep using all the tools available to protect yourself and others until you are fully vaccinated like wearing your mask, washing hands, and staying six feet away.