On December 14th, the first COVID-19 vaccine was administered in the U.S. Three months later, over 100 million doses have been given, and over 35 million Americans have been fully vaccinated.
Prepare To Get Vaccinated
As you prepare to get vaccinated, it’s important to take the right steps to figure out how to schedule your appointment and help protect you and your family from the Coronavirus. One of the questions cons across the southeast struggle with is whether or not to require guests and attendees to be vaccinated.
There are many factors that impact how and when you can get your vaccine, including your age, job, and state. It’s also crucial to research and see what locations near you administer vaccines and how to get them. Make sure you’re aware of the rules and guidelines in your area before trying to schedule an appointment in order to save both your time and the time of the medical professionals handling your vaccination process. Additionally, keep in mind that the vaccine is free for all people living in the United States, regardless of immigration or health status.
No vaccine is perfect, but this is a huge step forward in protecting ourselves and our fellow congoers. The more people get vaccinated, the better it works for all of us.
Who Is Eligible?
As mentioned in the previous section, every state has different qualifications, but some rules are similar across multiple states. As the vaccine becomes more widely available and the most vulnerable among us move from the unvaccinated to the vaccinated column, many states have begun relaxing their requirements for who is eligible. In Georgia, for example, as of today anyone 16 years or older is eligible to receive the vaccine. As the restrictions are loosened, it’s still important to be sure that you’re eligible in order to schedule an appointment, and if it’s not your turn yet, many states allow you to register to be notified for when you are.
Get Vaccinated Early
Remember that the vaccine triggers your body’s immune response, and your body will take time to mount its defense. In general, the two-dose vaccines can take about 2 weeks after the final dose to reach full effectiveness, while single dose vaccines may take up to 30 days. Be sure to understand the timeline of the particular vaccine you recieve. Even once you’re fully protected, you’ll still need to follow government guidelines on wearing masks and quarantining as we work hard to develop herd immunity.
How to Schedule an Appointment
Signing up for a vaccine is typically done online or in person, depending on the state and location. Some states, like New Mexico and West Virginia, use a single state registry for making appointments, while some other states will provide applicants with a list of vaccine providers like hospitals, medical facilities, and pharmacies and have you book an appointment directly.
Here are the sites in the Southeast where you can learn how to schedule an appointment:
Make sure you have your identification documents, such as a state ID or driver’s license, to verify you’re eligible to receive your vaccine. Remember, if you can’t prove that you are a resident of the state you made the appointment in, you may not be allowed to receive a vaccine at that time!
As more and more people get vaccinated, the requirements to make an appointment will broaden to allow people to receive their vaccine, so make sure you stay informed and keep up with the news in your state to see when you’re eligible, if not already!
By now, you may have heard that some people experience side effects (especially after the second injection) such as arm pain, body aches, headaches, and more. Don’t let this deter you from getting the vaccine. Here are a few tips to minimize discomfort:
- Take the vaccine in your dominant arm if possible, so that it gets into your system faster.
- Apply ice or a clean, cool, wet washcloth to the affected arm.
- Keep the arm moving with some light exercise.
- After receiving the vaccine, alternate between Tylenol and Ibuprofen as directed by a doctor (but not both at once), if you experience pain. Do not take these medications before the shot.
- Stay hydrated: drink plenty of water, or try Pedialyte if necessary.
- Wear loose clothing or clothes that are easily removable.
- If you work in a profession that requires constant arm and hand movements, consider taking some time off work or some sick time after taking the vaccine.
Side effects generally pass in a couple of days. You’ll find a good summary of side effects and self-care tips on the CDC website.
Once It’s Safe
We look forward to seeing you all again once it’s safe. Getting the shot is a huge step we can all take that will bring us closer to that goal. Please, join us in the effort to get everyone vaccinated. The party we’ll have later this year is going to be epic!
Usagi Medical Group would love to answer any questions you may have about COVID, the vaccine, and pandemics in general. Feel free to drop us a question and we will answer you.