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CDC Says "DO NOT" Do This After Your COVID Vaccine

There are a few things you need to know.

You got your COVID-19 vaccine, so now what? While the process of getting vaccinated differs from state to state, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reminds that there are a few things you should know before and after getting your jab—including what you shouldn't do post-vaccination. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Signs Your Illness is Actually Coronavirus in Disguise.


Don't Leave the Vaccine Site Immediately

Woman goes out to the street from the door of her house with a face mask

You may be anxious to leave the vaccination site, but the CDC advises you to wait a little big just in case you have an extremely rare allergic reaction. "After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, you should be monitored on site for at least 15 minutes," they write on their website. You can learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and rare severe allergic reactions here. ​


Don't Lose Your Vaccine Card

Doctor is holding a vaccination record card

When you get vaccinated, you should get a vaccination card specifying what COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it, and where you received it. "Keep your vaccination card in case you need it for future use. Consider taking a picture of your vaccination card as a backup copy," says the CDC. And, if for some reason you do not receive one, they suggest contacting the vaccination provider site where you got vaccinated or your state health department to find out how you can get a card.


Don't Forget to Sign Up with V-Safe

nurse and man with face masks

The CDC reminds you to sign up for v-safe, a free, smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccination. "Through v-safe, you can quickly tell CDC if you have any side effects after vaccination. V-safe also reminds you to get your second dose if you need one," they write. 


Don't Get Any Other Vaccines

Moderna and Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine

Don't plan on getting any other vaccination—including flu or shingles—for at least 14 days after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, if you have recently received any other vaccine first, wait at least 14 days before getting your COVID-19 vaccine. If for some reason you do get COVID-19 vaccine within two weeks of another vaccine, you do not need to be revaccinated with either vaccine. "You should still complete both vaccine series on schedule," they advise, 


Don't Stress If You Experience Common Side Effects

Senior woman with arm pain

There are a few common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, including pain, redness, and swelling at the vaccination site, and fatigue, muscle pain, headache, chills, fever, or nausea. "Get helpful tips on how to reduce any pain or discomfort," the CDC suggests, reminding that it takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination


Don't Go Back to Your Pre-Pandemic Activities

After the first shot, don't plan on celebrating with friends and family. The CDC warns that you are not considered fully vaccinated until 2 weeks after your second dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, or 2 weeks after the single-dose J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. "You should keep using all the tools available to protect yourself and others until you are fully vaccinated," they explain. "After you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you may be able to start doing some things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic."


Don't Forget to Go Back for Your Second Shot

Woman in medical protective mask getting injection in arm vaccination.

And, one very important reminder, don't forget that second shot. "If you receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine), you will need 2 shots to be fully protected. You should get your second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get it," they say. However, if you receive the Johnson & Johnson's Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine, you don't need a second.


Keep Protecting Yourself and Others

Woman put on medical protective mask for protection against coronavirus.

So follow Dr. Anthony Fauci's fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more about Leah