Covid-19 Vaccine: What To Do Before, During, And After A Vaccine Shot

It’s a race to get everyone vaccinated against Covid-19. Various countries around the globe are doing what they can in distributing the vaccines and inoculating everyone. The Philippines is no different, albeit the procedure in getting a COVID-19 vaccine is slightly different.

That said, getting vaccinated is an important moment for you, your family, and your community. But waiting for your turn can be stressful. This can lead to overthinking and hesitation.

So if you’re worried about getting a vaccine shot, it’s best to remember that you’re not only protecting yourself from COVID-19 but also your loved ones.

Stressing About Getting A Covid-19 Vaccine?

Here’s what you can do before getting a vaccine shot:

Find Out When’s Your Turn To Be Vaccinated.

For instance, in Davao City, you’ll have to register to their official website and wait for an SMS message. Another option is to reach out to your local health center.

Do Your Research

  • Get to know the different types of COVID-19 vaccines. Learn more about how they work, their efficacy, and the possible side effects.
  • Make sure to read and share accurate information. Get them only from reliable websites, like the DOH, WHO, or UNICEF.
  • Cross-check any piece of vaccine information you find online, especially when it came from unknown sources.
  • If you are still worried, talk to a health worker. Or call your nearest health facility.

Before Going To The Vaccination Site, Make Sure You:

  • Double mask. Your mask should cover your nose and mouth. Both masks must fit tightly and comfortably.
  • Have the notification about your vaccine appointment. Additionally, if you’re under the A3 category (those with comorbidity), it’s best to bring your Doctor’s prescription.
  • Your Identification Card. For senior citizens, you should bring your Senior ID card.
  • Bring a hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes.

Make sure to wear loose or short sleeves. One that can be easily rolled up so the health workers will have convenient access to your arm.

If you have any health issues in taking certain medications, let your health worker know.

Ready To Get Vaccinated? Here’s What To Expect During Your Covid-19 Vaccine Shot

Here in the Philippines, there will always be long lines. So it’s best to arrive at your vaccine site early. In doing so, you can avoid long queues.

When waiting in line:

  • Keep your mask on at all times. And avoid touching it.
  • Maintain at least one meter distance between yourself and other people.
  • Sanitize your hands after touching high-touch areas like door handles, ballpen, or other surfaces.
  • Keep your hands away from your face.

Just like any vaccine, the COVID-19 vaccine is administered through injection in your upper arm. It’ll only take a second. You may feel a little discomfort as the vaccine is being administered.

Credit to @nci via unsplash

That said, turn your face away from the vaccinator. Doing so will keep you both safe.

Feeling nervous? Don’t worry, it’s normal. Here’s what you can do instead:

  • Remember that it’ll only take a second.
  • Take slow deep breaths.
  • Don’t look at the needle.

I Got My Covid-19 Vaccine Shot. Now What?

Different individuals will have different experiences after getting a vaccine shot. Some may not experience any side effects, especially during their first dose. While others may experience a whole list of side effects.

Side effects are normal signs that your body is building immunity against the virus. Additionally, these side effects will go away in a few days- 3 days tops!

So what side effects should you expect?

  • Some pain, swelling, or redness on the arm where you were vaccinated.
  • Mild fever and chills
  • Lethargy or tiredness
  • Headache
  • Joint or muscle ache

Health workers will also provide information about what you should expect after getting vaccinated. They may also advise you to take paracetamol if you experience any side effects.

If symptoms are severe or last more than 3 days, contact your healthcare worker or Primary Physician.

Credit to @cdc via unsplash

When It’s No Longer Side Effects

You may or may not experience side effects. But if you experience any of these symptoms, it’s time to seek medical help:

  • New loss of smell or taste
  • Dry cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat/runny nose/conjunctivitis (red eye)

These are not common vaccine side effects. If you have any of these symptoms, stay at home. Call your physician or healthcare worker and schedule a COVID test.

Conclusion

It’s only natural to feel anxious and nervous about getting a COVID-19 vaccine. But reading accurate information about the different vaccines will help you understand how it works. Additionally, knowing what to expect and how to keep yourself safe will alleviate some of your worries.

Once you’re fully vaccinated, you are one step closer to keeping yourself and your loved ones safe. But for further protection, continue practicing the minimum health standard. This means continue wearing a mask, observe social distancing, and avoid crowds. Lastly, observe proper hygiene and wash your hands often.

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