What’s the Step-by-Step Process of Getting Vaccinated?
Quick Summary: You’ll provide some information to identify yourself, the shot will go in your upper arm, and they’ll ask you to wait around for a few minutes to make sure you’re OK.
Your shot will go into the muscle of your upper arm. The person who gives you your shot will make sure you are the correct person, likely by asking your name and date of birth. When getting ready to give you the shot, they will clean your skin first with a bit of rubbing alcohol, check that the vial containing the vaccine has not expired, and using proper technique, will inject the vaccine into your arm with a clean, unused needle. There may be a pinching or sharp feeling, but it will only last a second. If you’re very anxious about needles or vaccines, the anxiety might make you a little light-headed, dizzy, or sweaty.
After receiving the shot, they’ll probably ask you to stick around for another 15 minutes. This is for safety reasons—specifically, they are being extra careful in case you have an allergic reaction to the vaccine. Allergic reactions are extremely rare, but if they do happen, it is usually within the first 15 minutes, and they are already prepared to treat you for it right there. It’s a bit irritating (especially if you have other things to do!) and possibly boring (especially if you’re there alone and don’t have a phone or something to read with you), but it’s for your safety, so it’s worth it.
If you have an allergic reaction, you should let them know as soon as possible so they can make sure you are safe and take the appropriate next steps (such as getting you emergency help if you are having difficulty breathing).