How to get the COVID-19 vaccine

COVID-19 vaccine ready for injection.

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COVID-19 vaccine ready for injection.

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COVID-19 brought on many changes to people’s everyday lives. People are wearing masks everywhere to keep themselves and those around them safe, buying twice as much hand sanitizer as usual, being stuck inside, and having news of controversy and incompetence pumped into their homes almost constantly . . . so when the news of the creation of the COVID-19 vaccine was delivered by German companies Pfizer and BioNTech on Nov 9, 2020, people were ready to finally be done with the pandemic.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives relevant information that helps everyday people who are considering getting the vaccine, from before to after the appointment.

Visiting the official CDC website for more in-depth explanations and information is recommended.

According to the CDC, the COVID-19 vaccine cannot infect you with the virus.

“None of the COVID-19 vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID-19 so a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19,” said the CDC’s article, “Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine.”

Before making an appointment to get a vaccine, civilians are advised to make sure they check whether or not the vaccination is recommended for them right now and to learn about the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine, as well as the different COVID-19 vaccines available.

The organization says that there are many vaccines available in the United States, and that each one undergoes clinical trials and “will be authorized or approved only if they make it substantially less likely you’ll get COVID-19,” and even if you do get sick from COVID-19, it will not be serious.

“Based on what we know about vaccines for other diseases and early data from clinical trials, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19,” the CDC said.

When you actually get your vaccination, expect a sheet– be it physical or digital– that tells you what COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it, and where you received it.

Each sheet for each vaccine tells you facts about that particular vaccine as well.

“All people who get a COVID-19 vaccine should be monitored on-site,” suggests the CDC.

Most COVID-19 vaccines need two shots in order to work. The amount of time between each depends on which vaccine you got.

For example, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine needs at least 3 weeks between each shot. The Moderna vaccine needs the second shot no less than 28 days after the first one.

“You should get your second shot as close to the recommended 3-week or 1-month interval as possible. However, there is no maximum interval between the first and second doses for either vaccine. You should not get the second dose earlier than the recommended interval,” says the CDC’s article, “What to Expect after Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine”.

Even if you have side effects of the first shot, you still need to get the second shot. The only exception is if a vaccination provider or doctor tells you otherwise.

The CDC’s article, “What to Expect at Your Appointment to Get Vaccinated for COVID-19” speaks of the smartphone app “v-safe”.

V-safe provides personalized health check-ins for those who have gotten a COVID-19 vaccine using web surveys and text messaging.

It is used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor the side effects of those who have received the vaccine.

The app also notifies you if you still need to get your second vaccination shot, though it does not make the appointment for you.

The vaccines may not protect you until one or two weeks after your second shot, as it takes time for the human body to build up protection against illness with or without vaccines.

As previously stated, there are potential side effects that arise once one has received their first COVID-19 vaccination shot.

In the article by the CDC, “What to Expect after Getting a COVID-19 Vaccination”, the CDC provides information of the common side effects observed in some people who have received a vaccination for COVID-19.

Any pain or discomfort is expected, but if it is worrying you, or if it increases after 24 hours, alert your doctor.

Pain and swelling in the arm where the shot was received, as well as fever, chills, headaches, and tiredness in other body parts are the symptoms the article listed.

The article also provides readers with tips for responding to these symptoms.

For the pain and swelling, use or exercise your arm. You can also apply a cool, wet washcloth over the area.

These suggestions are probably common practices for pain relief in many households already, as well as taking pain medicine such as ibuprofen.

However, taking ibuprofen is more complicated than usual this time around. Instead of simply consuming the medication– or any other over-the-counter pain relief medicine– you must consult your doctor.

For fever relief, dress lightly and drink fluids.

Be sure to get as informed as you possibly can about the policies and schedules of COVID-19 vaccine providers in your area, as well as the different COVID-19 vaccines available to your community.

Continue to wear your mask and social distance whether or not you have your vaccine shots.

Continue to protect your community and your loved ones by taking whatever precautions you can to halt the spread of COVID-19.