What to expect before, during, after COVID-19 vaccine

COVID-19 vaccines will soon be available to the public. Know when and where to be immunized.

A health care worker in face mask and shield vaccinates a woman, facing away from the camera, with COVID-19 vaccine while two other health care workers prepare for more patients.

Vaccination is the moment when this massive public project to stop the coronavirus becomes a personal one.

As with every other part of this COVID-19 pandemic, accurate information is a valuable tool. Fortunately, Sanford Health can help with that.

“I know a lot of people have been interested in when they’re going to get the vaccine. They’ve been calling their doctors’ offices,” said Sanford Health chief physician Jeremy Cauwels, M.D. “If you have a doctor within Sanford, we will reach out to you. We will be able to get you in to receive your vaccine when it’s your time.”

When will you know it’s your turn to be vaccinated?

As Dr. Cauwels said, Sanford Health will notify you when a vaccine is available for you. If you are currently a Sanford patient, you will receive a My Sanford Chart message. If you do not have the My Sanford Chart — or do not have a smartphone — you will still get a letter, a call or text message when providers are ready to set up your vaccine appointment.

If you are not a patient of a health system or if you are unsure and would like to get the COVID-19 vaccine, please complete the form to join the vaccine waiting list.

You’ve been notified. What comes next?

Due to limited quantities, patients can’t schedule their vaccine appointment or go to a clinic prior to receiving the OK from providers. Once notified, you can schedule your appointment by calling the phone number included in your notification or by calling your primary care provider.

How should you prepare for your appointment?

It helps to be familiar the CDC checklist awaiting you at your clinic. When you report for your appointment, you’ll be given a series of questions to determine if there is any reason to postpone vaccination.

The questions will address the following:

  • Past allergic reactions to any of the components in the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Past allergic reactions to other vaccines
  • Vaccines received in the last 14 days
  • Past positive COVID-19 tests and passive antibody therapy
  • Weakened immune system caused by existing illness
  • Bleeding disorder and blood thinner
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding

What happens after you get your first shot?

The Pfizer vaccine requires two shots 21 days apart; for Moderna, the shots are given 28 days apart. After receiving the first of two doses, you should receive a vaccination card or printout onsite that tells you which vaccine you received, the date you received it and where you received it.

The Janssen (J&J) vaccine requires only one shot.

You will get a fact sheet that tells you more about the specific COVID-19 vaccine you got. Each COVID-19 vaccine has its own fact sheet to help you understand the risks and benefits of receiving the vaccine.

After you receive the vaccine, Sanford will observe you for another 15 minutes. During this time, providers will help schedule an appointment for your second dose. Patients will also receive information about v-safe, a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

Learn more

Posted In Coronavirus, Frequently Asked Questions, Immunizations

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