How to Find a Covid-19 Vaccine Appointment in Your Area

Protection isn't immediate after a shot. It takes about two weeks after the Moderna's and Pfizer-BioNTech's second shot and two weeks after the single Johnson & Johnson shot for your body's immune system to reach its maximum strength against the virus. Johnson & Johnson is currently testing a two-dose version of its vaccine, but the findings aren't ready yet, and so it's only being given as a one-dose shot at this time.

The CDC also offers advice on what to expect at your vaccination appointment. You may get asked if you've been exposed to Covid-19 or shown any symptoms lately, and the facility should ask you to sit and wait for a period of 15 minutes after getting your vaccine to ensure you don't have a severe reaction, or 30 minutes if you've had a reaction to a vaccine or injection before. You should also be given a card that tells you the vaccine you got and the date (keep it).

After your vaccination, you can sign up for V-safe, the CDC's Health Checker website. It will send you phone notifications to fill out an easy survey in the days andweeks after getting your vaccine, asking about any symptoms you've experienced and notifying you when you should get your second dose.

Don't get any other vaccinations in the 14 days before or after your Covid-19 vaccination. Don't preemptively take new medications before vaccination, even over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen, or stop taking your normal medications before your appointment; talk to a doctor before the appointment and tell them what you're on, though. They may have some advice for you.

Not Yet Eligible? Show Up Late

As the day draws close to the close, vaccination sites are sometimes left with extra vaccines that will go to waste by the day's end. Due to the specific precautions taken to keep vaccines fresh and usable before they expire, if people don't show up for their appointments, the facility may prepare more doses than they end up needing.

Even if you're not in one of the eligible groups, you can show up and ask a provider for one of the leftover doses. Few providers advertise these extra doses because they don't want a stampede of people showing up for a small number of available extra doses, but they'd rather stick 'em into whoever shows up than throw unused vaccines in the trash.

Check if your local or state health department offer a standby list for extra vaccinations. Not all health departments are compiling standby lists. Retail stores are also places to check. If you call the pharmacy of some Walmart locations, they may have an organized standby list system to notify you if vaccines become available at the end of the day.

A Few More Things to Know

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