Everything You Need to Know About Making a COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment

Everything You Need to Know About Making a COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment

The benefits of getting vaccinated

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is one of the most important steps we can take to protect ourselves and our community. The approved vaccines are safe, effective and our best defense against the virus.

Finding out if you’re eligible

Vaccine eligibility varies by location. Check your state or local health department’s website to see current guidelines on who can receive the vaccine in your area.

Making your appointment

Once eligible, there are a few options for scheduling your vaccine appointment:

  • Online scheduling portals – Many pharmacies and health centers have online systems for booking appointments.
  • Phone hotlines – Some states and counties have dedicated hotlines for COVID-19 vaccination appointments.

Preparing for your appointment

To make the vaccination process smooth, be sure to:

  • Wear a short-sleeve shirt to allow easy access to your upper arm
  • Bring proof of eligibility such as an ID or work badge
  • Arrive early to your appointment to avoid long waits

After your shot

You’ll need to wait 15-30 minutes after getting your vaccine to monitor for any potential immediate reactions. Consider signing up for v-safe to report any future side effects to the CDC.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the vaccine cost?

The COVID-19 vaccine should be free to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status.

Can I choose which vaccine I receive?

You may not be able to pick which brand of vaccine you receive, as availability varies by location. The approved vaccines have similar safety and efficacy profiles.

How long do vaccines take to become effective?

It typically takes 1-2 weeks after your final dose of vaccine to build immunity. With the two-dose vaccines, you need both shots to get the most protection.

What are the potential side effects?

The most common side effects are pain and swelling at the injection site, fever, fatigue, headache, and muscle pain – which are signs your immune system is responding. These usually only last 1-3 days.

Who should not get the COVID vaccine?

The only people who should avoid the vaccine are those with severe allergic reactions to vaccine ingredients, which are extremely rare. Always consult your doctor first if you have questions.