Your COVID-19 Vaccination Questions, Answered

With COVID-19 vaccination underway in the United States, many Americans are preparing to get the vaccine to protect themselves and help slow the spread of COVID-19. If you’re able to get the vaccine, you probably have a lot of questions. Knowing what to expect and how to properly prepare for your appointment can help put your mind at ease.

COVID-19 vaccine basics

COVID-19 vaccines are now available in the U.S., and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the vaccines approved in the U.S. do not contain the live virus that causes COVID-19 and therefore you cannot contract COVID-19 from them. The CDC states these vaccines have been carefully evaluated in clinical trials and are deemed safe and effective by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) with a full advisory committee meeting review for all vaccines.

Preparing for the COVID-19 vaccine

Getting a vaccine not only protects you, but also the people around you, especially those who are unable to get vaccinated. The CDC offers guidance summarized below to help you prepare for your vaccination, whether it’s your first or second dose:

1) If you’re approved to get a vaccine, talk to your healthcare provider ahead of time. You may be going to a vaccination clinic where your healthcare provider is not directly administering the injection, so if you have questions, speak with them before your appointment.

2) Do not schedule any other vaccinations within two weeks before your COVID-19 vaccination. If you feel ill before your appointment, call the vaccination clinic and ask if you should still come in or reschedule.

3) Get good rest the days prior to the appointment, especially the night before. Eat a light meal or snack before your appointment and stay hydrated. Rest and good nutrition help prepare your immune system for the vaccination.

4) Ask about side effects. While some people have no symptoms, others may experience headache, muscle/joint pain, chills, fever and fatigue that generally subside after 48 hours. Plan for several low-key days following your vaccination.

5) Plan ahead for post-vaccination care by having the essentials on hand in your medicine cabinet. According to the CDC, over-the-counter medications (like Advil) can reduce pain, fever or discomfort associated with post-COVID-19 vaccine, including mild aches or arm soreness. According to Dr. Jeffrey Fudin, B.S., Pharm.D., FCCP, FASHP, FFSMB, “Aches and fever are common side effects of coronavirus vaccination, and can easily be treated with a pain reliever like Advil.”

6) If your vaccine requires two doses, consult with your vaccination clinic or pharmacy to schedule your second dose.

While millions in the U.S. have received the COVID-19 vaccine, availability is currently limited and you may not be able to get it right away. Continue to take smart safety measures such as washing your hands frequently with soap and water, wearing a mask when out in public, avoiding large crowds, and appropriate social distancing. When it is time to get your COVID-19 vaccination, these preparatory steps will help you feel empowered as you take an important step to end the pandemic. For more information about how to prepare for the COVID-19 vaccine visit, and visit for more information on Advil.

Author Profile

The Editorial Team at Lake Oconee Health is made up of skilled health and wellness writers and experts, led by Daniel Casciato who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We aim to provide our readers with valuable insights and guidance to help them lead healthier and happier lives.