COVID-19 vaccine

How to Prepare for the COVID-19 Vaccine

These have undoubtedly been some of the most challenging times for many people. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruption to life and businesses throughout the entire world.

Now that we have several effective vaccines, individuals in every nation are being urged to get their jab as soon as possible to help prevent further spread and get things under control. Millions around the world have been vaccinated already. In the USA alone, 318 million doses have been given with 150 million people fully vaccinated. 

Here we look at how to prepare for your COVID-19 vaccination and what steps you should take.

Preparing for Your COVID-19 Vaccination

There are a few things that you should do before getting your vaccination. If you have underlying health problems, are currently taking certain medications like warfarin or you have any known allergies, it’s always a good idea to talk things through with your doctor beforehand.

It can help to boost your immune system before your vaccination. This could involve something as simple as eating healthily for a few days and taking some exercise. Vitamin D levels have often been seen to affect the efficacy of flu vaccines so getting some sun may also help.

One of the best tips is to get a good night’s sleep before you go for your vaccine. Some anecdotal evidence has suggested that it might at least help combat side-effects such as an aching arm or flu-type symptoms.

If you have any of the following conditions and are receiving medication, it’s again important to consult with your physician first: 

  • Chronic respiratory disease
  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Kidney disease 
  • Cancer 
  • Diabetes

Having any of these conditions will not necessarily prevent you from having the shot but it’s always best to get advice from a health professional. Pregnant women are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19, according to the CDC, so it’s important to have a conversation with your health care provider about potential risks from having the shot.

Before You Get Vaccinated

  • Wear loose clothing that allows easy access to your arm so that the vaccination can be administered without fuss. This will mean wearing a t-shirt or loose fitting top that can be easily lifted.
  • Make sure that you turn up at your appointment ahead of your allocated time.
  • Make sure that you bring a mask with you and wear it when you enter the vaccination center. You will also need to maintain social distancing – most facilities will have this marked out for you when you arrive. 
  • On the day of your appointment, you should eat and drink normally but avoid any alcohol. You will not necessarily need to avoid taking medications but it’s important to talk with your doctor beforehand about this. 
  • Make sure you bring any documentation with you such as your appointment confirmation. 
  • If on the day of your appointment, you are starting to show COVID-19-type symptoms, you must get tested and reschedule your vaccination appointment.

During Your Vaccination Appointment

Different places will have their set processes during the vaccination. Some will have multiple stations where trained medical staff are waiting to administer the vaccine. It’s important to follow the rules in the facility and have some patience. At certain times of the day, you may breeze through and be done in a few minutes, in other places you might have to wait. 

The nurse or doctor administering the vaccine will take your details and ask certain questions to ensure that you are safe to have the injection. The process should take no more than five minutes and once the injection has been administered, you will be asked to wait for a period of observation to make sure there are no adverse side effects.

After You Have Been Vaccinated

It’s not unusual for people to experience some side effects after receiving the injection. Many will notice nothing different. Others may have an ache in the arm or slight flu symptoms for a few days. Less common side effects include dizziness and confusion, nausea and severe sweating. If you experience any severe side effects it is important to contact your doctor as soon as possible.