As you book your appointment or prepare to get your first COVID-19 vaccine dose, you might wonder what you should or shouldn’t do during the process. Here are five simple things to consider from pediatrician Michelle Medina, MD, to keep in mind along the way.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy
Complete the vaccination series if a second dose is necessary
If you received the first dose of Moderna’s or Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, it’s important to complete the vaccination series. Most places will schedule your second dose as soon as possible at the same location where you received your first dose. Should you need to reschedule, notify the vaccine provider sooner than later so they can fill your old spot and find a new date that works for you.
Since Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is one dose, all you have to worry about is getting to your appointment and protecting yourself after the shot until you can be considered fully vaccinated.
Keep your COVID-19 vaccination card
Keep your CDC vaccination card safe and in good condition. You can take a photo of your card with your smartphone after each shot so you can have your vaccine information on you at all times.
Your vaccination card information will help ensure that you receive the first and second doses from the same manufacturer. It’s also good to reference if you’re asked about your vaccine records during future medical appointments.
What’s on that card?
When you get vaccinated, the provider will place a sticker on your vaccination card that includes the following information:
- Brand of vaccine: Pfizer, Moderna or Janssen (Johnson and Johnson).
- Lot number of the vaccine: Each vaccine dose is assigned a number that tells providers when and where it was made, as well as which doses were made at the same time.
- Expiration date of the vaccine: This explains how long the vaccine is stable on the shelf. It is not an expiration date on how long it will work in your body to fight against COVID-19.
Cancel any extra vaccine appointments
Vaccine availability is expanding across the country, so people are eager to get the shot because it means that they’re one step closer to possibly getting back to normal. You might get an appointment only to find that another provider can get you in even sooner. Should this happen, notify the provider of your original appointment and let them know that you’ve made other arrangements. The provider can then give that appointment to someone else and not waste a dose of the vaccine.
Share accurate information
After being vaccinated for COVID-19, don’t be afraid to share your experience with friends and family. It can help those who might need a little more reassurance that they’re doing the right thing or clear up some misconceptions about the vaccination process. Be sure to share educational information as well to help keep them informed.
Don’t post your vaccination card on social media
While you might be extremely proud about doing your part (and you have every right to feel that way), avoid sharing pictures of your vaccination card on social media. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a warning recently about identity thieves stealing personal information like names and dates of birth from those smiling selfies.
This information might not seem like a lot, but scammers can use it to open accounts or claim your tax refund. If you do post a selfie with your vaccination card, be sure to blur out or cover up your personal information.