The United States remains the country most affected by the pandemic, with more than 27 million confirmed cases and 480,000 deaths, but it has also become the leading nation in the Americas and the world in vaccinating people against COVID-19, with more than 46 million people having received the COVID-19 vaccine.
As immunization efforts increase, experts offer some general tips on how to prepare and what to expect.
What does it involve?
Julie Boom, co-chair of the COVID-19 vaccine task force at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, told The Wall Street Journal that the immunization process takes no more than 1 hour after appointments are made.
She explained that after consent forms are completed, the injection is given and the person is monitored for 15-30 minutes for allergic reactions. Afterwards, some people choose to go home and rest.
When you go to the immunization site, in most cases, you will only need your ID and proof of your assigned appointment. However, at other sites you may be asked for employment credentials to show that they are eligible.
Is medication required?
Gregory Huhn, vaccination coordinator for Cook County Health, a hospital system in Chicago, said no dietary precautions are required. It is recommended that people who tend to feel dizzy with vaccinations or blood work stay well hydrated before the COVID-19 vaccine.
On the other hand, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend taking fever-reducing medications (known as antipyretics) before the vaccine. However, antipyretics, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can be used after vaccination to treat fever or local discomfort.
Huhn recommends taking precautions during and after the entire process as there is still a risk of contagion.
What happens after immunization?
Doctors indicate that those vaccinated will receive a card with the lot number and name of the vaccine administered, as well as a reminder to receive the second vaccine. This card should be taken to the health center when the next dose is to be administered. The vaccination data is also entered into a system.
Health experts recommend receiving both doses of the vaccines at the recommended time, as completing the process provides greater protection against the virus.