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How to Prepare for Your COVID-19 Vaccine

​While you're waiting to receive your COVID-19 vaccine, and even after you receive your vaccine, it's important to continue to wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose, stay at least 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds and wash your hands often.

Before You Get Vaccinated

  • Talk with your health care provider to see if vaccination is right for you.
  • Check if COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for you right now and make an appointment to get vaccinated.
  • Stay home as much as possible to avoid exposure to COVID-19.
  • Wear a mask, social distance, avoid gatherings and crowds, and wash your hands often.
  • Learn more about the different types of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Learn more about the benefits of getting COVID-19 vaccination.

At Your Vaccination Appointment

  • When you get the vaccine, you and the person administering the vaccine will both need to wear masks that cover your nose and mouth.
  • You will receive a vaccination card that tells you which COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it and where you received it. It should also have a reminder for you to return for a second dose (if you receive a two-dose vaccine)
  • You'll receive a fact sheet that contains information to help you understand the risks and benefits of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine you are being offered. 
  • You'll be monitored on site after you receive your vaccination to watch for any reaction to the vaccine.

After You Receive a Vaccination

  • With most COVID-19 vaccines, you'll need two shots in order for them to work. Get the second shot even if you have side effects after the first one, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get a second shot.
  • People are considered fully vaccinated:
    • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
    • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.
  • Register for v-safe, a free, smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccination. V-safe also reminds you to get your second dose if you need one. Learn more about v-safe.
  • Learn about common side effects and get helpful tips on how to reduce your pain and discomfort after vaccination.
  • Remember to get your second shot if you receive a two-dose vaccine!