Many have rejoiced at the availability of COVID-19 vaccines. The availability of vaccines has given many the hope of things going back to pre-COVID days. With the increased production of COVID-19 vaccines, people around the world are queuing to get them.
If you have been offered the opportunity to take the COVID-19 vaccine, it is natural to be apprehensive or unclear about what to do before you get the vaccine. Furthermore, there is a lot of online information, making it very “noisy,” contributing more to your confusion.
While it may seem scary, here are five things you should do before getting the COVID-19 vaccine!
Research on the type of vaccines
One of the most important things you should do is to research, research, and more research! It is a good idea to read up on all the COVID-19 vaccines available. The primary vaccines available are Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Moderna.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It has been issued the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) as a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine. This vaccine can only be administered to individuals 18 years of age and older.
Johnson & Johnson began to ship its vaccine and expects to enable complete vaccination of more than 20 million people just in the US by the end of March 2021. Following this, they are planning to send out 100 million vaccines during the first half of 2021.
Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is another approved and safe vaccine. Unlike the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires two doses, taken 21 days apart. Also, it is recommended for individuals 16 years of age and older.
Another vaccine available is the Moderna. Similar to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the Moderna also requires two doses but taken 28 days apart. Like the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, the Moderna is recommended for individuals 18 years of age and older.
These COVID-19 vaccines are just the three main ones. Currently, many other countries are slowly coming up with their own vaccines to get as many people vaccinated as possible to curb the spread of COVID-19. I strongly implore you to read the news and study other vaccines’ effectiveness before making your decision.
While these three vaccines have been proven to be safe, effective, and the most widely used, it is vital that you do your own research before selecting the vaccine you want to get!
Learn about the possible side effects
On top of researching the different types of COVID-19 vaccines available, you also need to learn about each different vaccine’s possible side effects. Depending on the individual, side effects can vary.
Sometimes, side effects only occur after the second dose, while others experience side effects even after the first dose. Although it might seem scary and dangerous, side effects from COVID-19 vaccines are expected and normal. Side effects usually go away in a few days.
In general, some common side effects from all three COVID-19 vaccines are:
- Muscle pain
After getting the shot, you might also feel some pain, swelling, and/or redness on the arm that you had the vaccine. This is entirely normal, and there’s nothing to be worried about! From my personal experience, my parents came home after getting vaccinated with a sore arm but were both fined after a day.
Prepare your documents
Before getting whichever COVID-19 vaccine you opt for and depending on your country’s regulations, you may have to prepare some documents to prove eligibility.
At the very least, you should bring some source of identification to prove your age, name, and some health documents to show that you do not have underlying health problems that can lead to further complications.
Eat and rest well beforehand.
You need to consume whole foods like fruits and vegetables before getting the COVID-19 vaccine. This is so that the foods can help your immune system defend your body against the side effects you may or may not experience.
On the contrary, there is no need for you to undergo any food or liquid fast. This can make you more susceptible to falling sick or feeling faint when getting the vaccine. Drinking more water will help you keep hydrated. Drink more water, eat more whole foods, and you will be good to go!
Another tip is to have a good night’s sleep the night before. Likewise, have a well-rested body is crucial for your immune system to work to its fullest potential.
Wear comfortable and loose clothing. More specifically, wear clothing that makes your arm easily accessible. Clothes like tank tops and loose short-sleeved t-shirts are highly recommended.
The COVID-19 vaccine will be injected into your upper arm. Hence, it will be difficult for the nurse or administrator to deliver the vaccine if you wear tight-fitting or long sleeve shirts. If you feel cold, consider wearing outerwear like a sweater or a jacket.
The availability of the COVID-19 vaccine has brought about hope for many that things will go back to normal or at least close to normal. While there have been discussions about whether people want to take the vaccine or not, you must prepare yourself should you decide to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
It may be scary given that there are lots of noise online regarding the vaccine, but I strongly encourage you to follow the tips above for a better experience. While I hope that this post has helped you, I also highly encourage you to do your own research before deciding and going for the vaccine.
Let us hope that the increasing uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine will eventually bring things back to normal!
About the Author
Min Yee is a Marketing Analyst at Zipline. Besides writing articles about technology and the aged care industry, she loves a good cup of matcha latte while sitting at a cafe people-watching.