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At your COVID-19 vaccine appointment

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Here are some tips for the best experience at your COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

From start to finish, your appointment should last about an hour. Many people choose to return home and rest. Once you receive your COVID-19 vaccine (first or second dose), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends you wait at least 14 days before getting a vaccine for the flu, shingles, or other illness. The reverse is also true if you get another vaccine before getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Be patient

When you arrive, you’ll have some paperwork to fill out, and you may have a bit of a wait. You will be asked some questions, and you will need to fill out a consent form. You will also need to show your identification and insurance card, if you have one. (It’s OK if you don’t.)

Be safe

You still need to wear your mask and practice social distancing when you get your vaccination. Medical staff will be washing their hands and doing their part to keep you healthy.

Read the signs

Pay attention to any signs directing where to stand, where to go next, etc. You may also see signs indicating capacity limits for the room.


The medical professional who gives you the vaccine may ask questions about your medical history or may say things to keep you calm. Listen carefully, answer the questions and follow directions they give you as they administer the shot.


After you receive the shot in your upper arm, you will be asked to wait 15 minutes before leaving. You will be checked for medical reactions, including anxiety about getting the shot. In rare cases, reactions can occur after leaving the facility. If that happens, call your doctor immediately.

Second shot

Some COVID-19 vaccines need two doses, approximately 3 to 4 weeks apart. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one dose. If you need a second dose, you will be given a card showing which vaccine you received (e.g., Moderna, Pfizer, etc.), your first vaccination date and when and where to return for the second dose.