Tips from a COVID-19 Vaccinator 

If you have chronic hep C, chances are your doctor has recommended that you receive your COVID-19 vaccine. Depending on where you live, you may have already been vaccinated. In some countries, vaccination rollout has yet to hit high-risk populations of health conditions that deem them vulnerable to the virus, such as people with severe liver disease. The below outlines some tips to prepare you for your first dose. Not only will it make your life easier, but for your vaccinator as well!

Dress appropriately and bring ID

It can be incredibly frustrating for those waiting behind you in line to wait as you take off layers of clothing. Everyone should be mindful of their vaccination attire. The vaccine needs to be administered into the deltoid of the upper arm, so wearing a t-shirt or a tank-top provides the best access. Wearing a cardigan is a great idea as it can be easily slipped off.

Make sure you bring your ID, as the vaccines are highly tracked and regulated. If you are going in for the second dose, bring the immunization card that you received from the first dose.

Key points to inform your vaccinator

Let your vaccinator know if you are pregnant, or trying to conceive, or breastfeeding. In addition, be prepared to list your allergies. For those who faint after vaccines, be sure to tell your vaccinator so they can be prepared with a fainting mat prior to vaccinating you.

Ask questions

Your vaccinator will likely inform you what type of vaccine you are getting and provide you with an immunization card. If your vaccinator does not provide you with this information, be sure to ask. This is because if a second dose is required, it is recommended you receive the same vaccine you did for the first dose.

If an immunization card is provided, store it somewhere safe. I recommend that people take a picture when possible in the event they lose the card. We may need these immunization records to be eligible for travel in the future!

Understand the potential side effects

It is important to know what isn’t a common side effect, and what is. Muscle pain at the injection site and fatigue are very common. On the other hand, a cough and/or sore throat is not a side effect from the vaccine and should be investigated further.

Post-vaccination

Once you have been vaccinated, some questions may arise such as whether you must continue social distancing and wearing a mask. You will not gain immediate immunity against COVID-19; It takes on average 2 weeks to gain an antibody response.

It is not clear yet whether getting the full series of the vaccine will prevent those vaccinated from spreading the virus to others. You may not get as sick from COVID-19 if you get the vaccine, but you may still transmit the virus to others. That is why wearing a mask and following social distancing is important until the majority of the population have been vaccinated.

Getting the vaccine can bring on so many emotions - including nervousness and excitement. Be prepared so you know what to expect. Have you received your COVID-19 vaccine? Share you experience below! 

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