More and more people are getting the chance to be vaccinated against Corona. You don’t really have to do much to prepare for the vaccination, but you can take a few measures to ensure that the vaccination goes well and that you only feel a few side effects. Wear a mask and keep your distance from others in the vaccination center to protect yourself and others.
If you are not sure whether the corona vaccination is right for you or if you have concerns, make an appointment with your family doctor or call the health department. There they can inform you about the various vaccinations and advise you on which vaccination is best for you. Experts agree that the corona vaccination is also safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women. If you still have concerns, talk to your doctor before making your decision. If you have previous illnesses, you may even be able to prioritize vaccination, provided you have not previously had an allergic reaction to a vaccination.
If you belong to a prioritized group that has already been offered a vaccination appointment, then in most states you can make an appointment online. They will also explain to you how you should prepare and how your appointment will work. Currently, only vaccination centers vaccinate in Germany. You need an appointment there. When you get vaccinated depends on which priority group you have been assigned to. There’s a vaccination schedule calculator that tells you when it’s your turn. The corona vaccination is free.
Therefore, wait at least 14 days before and after the corona vaccination until you receive other vaccinations. This also reduces the risk of side effects from multiple vaccinations at once. If you accidentally scheduled two vaccinations close together, that’s okay. You don’t have to start over with the Corona vaccination.
Stay at home as much as possible, wear a mask outside and keep at least 1.5 meters away from people outside the household. Wash your hands often to avoid infecting yourself and others. Even after the vaccination, wear a mask and keep your distance to protect those around you.
If you have been treated with antibodies or plasma against Corona, you should wait at least 90 days before vaccination. Experts don’t yet know exactly how long natural immunity lasts after infection, so get vaccinated as soon as possible. If you have had coronavirus but have not been treated with antibodies or plasma, you can get vaccinated once you have recovered.
You can prevent side effects by drinking plenty of water on the day of the vaccination and by eating a wholesome and balanced diet. You may have to wait a while to get vaccinated, so eat something beforehand.
You can bring your ID or passport with you. If you don’t have either, ask at the vaccination center if you can identify yourself in some other way. You actually have to present an official photo ID. A driver’s license does not count. Also, bring your vaccination card with you. You don’t need your health insurance card. The federal government covers the costs regardless of the insurance status.
It is best to wear an FFP2 mask. If you do not wear a mask, you will be denied access to the vaccination center. Always keep the mask on, both while waiting and during the vaccination itself.
Wear a top that allows you to easily pull up the sleeves, like a t-shirt or shirt. You may have pain at the injection site, and tight clothing makes it worse. If you’re worried about the pain, bring a cooling pad or cold washcloth with you.
In the 48 hours after the first dose, you may have a fever, feel cold, feel tired, or have a headache. Rest and drink plenty of fluids to recover quickly. After the first dose, many vaccination centers will monitor you for 15 minutes so that you can react immediately to any severe reactions. If you have pain or swelling in your arm, you can hold the cold washcloth in place to relieve the inflammation. If you have bad side effects, you should definitely report them to the responsible health authority. Find out which health department is responsible for you and call them.
It is best to arrange the second appointment right after your first vaccination. Do this online or, if possible, in person at the vaccination center. The second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine is currently administered 21 days after the first. For Moderna, there is a 28-day gap between the first and second dose. Many people report strong side effects with the second vaccination. The procedure is the same as for the first dose, but you may need to rest longer afterwards.
This advice refers to Germany. Other countries may have different recommendations or procedures. Prioritization keeps changing. So be sure to keep yourself informed about the current status. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines work with mRNA technology, which uses antibodies. The biggest difference is the time interval between the two vaccinations and the temperature at which the vaccine must be stored.