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CDC Tips for Before and After Patients Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

Posted by Mike Rigert on Mar 3, 2021 10:00:00 AM

The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine is accelerating across the country with 75.2 million doses distributed to the states and 64.1 million doses administered to patients, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As healthcare providers continue to dispense the vaccine to patients, one of the keys to success has been their efforts to get information and data about the vaccine into the hands of patients. Much of this has come in the form of patient education providers delivered directly to patients via text-based patient communication to quickly and efficiently keep patients in the loop on the latest vaccine information and when the vaccine will be available from the provider. The more informed patients are about the vaccine and how to get it from their providers the less likely vaccine hesitancy will affect patients’ decisions to receive the vaccine.

Naturally, patients have lots of questions about the vaccine, including what they need to do and be aware of prior to and after receiving first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The following is a sample of the downloadable template of tips from the CDC on what patients need to know before and after getting the vaccine.

Before Vaccination

When You Get Vaccinated

  • You should receive a vaccination card or printout that tells you what COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it, and where you received it.
  • You should receive a paper or electronic version of a fact sheet that tells you more about the specific COVID-19 vaccine you are being offered. Each authorized COVID-19 vaccine has its own fact sheet that contains information to help you understand the risks and benefits of receiving that specific vaccine.
  • All people who get a COVID-19 vaccine should be monitored on-site. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and rare severe allergic reactions.

After Vaccination

  • With most COVID-19 vaccines, you will 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.
  • Ask your healthcare provider about getting started with 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 at www.cdc.gov/vsafe.

It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines that require 2 shots may not protect you until a week or two after your second shot.

Common Side Effects

COVID-19 vaccination may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection.

On the arm where you get the shot:

  • Pain
  • Swelling

Throughout the rest of your body:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Tiredness
  • Headache

When to Call the Doctor

For questions of if you are having trouble using vaccine management or scheduling systems, reach out to the organization that enrolled you in the system. This may be your state or local health department, employer, or vaccine provider.

If you get a COVID-19 vaccine and you think you might be having a severe allergic reaction after leaving the vaccination site, seek immediate medical care by calling 911. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and rare severe allergic reactions.

Scheduling Your 2nd Shot

If you need help scheduling your vaccine appointment for your second shot, contact the location that set up your appointment for assistance.

About Your 2nd Shot

Both COVID-19 mRNA vaccines will need 2 shots to get the most protection. The timing between your first and second shot depends on which vaccine you received. You should get your second shot:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech > 3 weeks (or 21 days) after your first shot.
  • Moderna > 1 month (or 28 days) after your first shot.

You should get your second shot as close to the recommended 3-week or 1-month interval as possible. However, there is no maximum interval between the first and second doses for either vaccine. You should not get the second dose earlier than the recommended interval.

After Your 2nd Shot

It’s important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, stay at least 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds, avoid poorly ventilated spaces, and wash your hands often.

Remember:

  • Side effects can affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.
  • With most COVID-19 vaccines, you will need 2 shots in order for them to work. Get the second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get the second shot.
  • It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines that require 2 shots may not protect you until a week or two after your second shot.

This downloadable template of COVID-19 vaccine tips from the CDC is a great source of timely patient education for healthcare providers to share with patients via text, email or on their portals or websites. Download the full template here.

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Mike Rigert

Written by Mike Rigert

Mike Rigert has been a content writer in marketing and communications with several technology companies for over a decade. At SR Health, Rigert is tasked with creating compelling content that helps healthcare providers overcome their patient communication inefficiencies to make their organizations more profitable. When he’s not typing away on his computer, he enjoys discussing sci-fi, reading nonfiction, and eating chocolate.