Coronavirus

What to Expect at Your Appointment to Get Vaccinated for COVID-19

Find a Vaccine

Vaccines are widely available. In many cases, you do not need an appointment.

  • The federal government is providing COVID-19 vaccines free of charge to everyone ages 6 months and older living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status.
  • Most people in the United States live within 5 miles of a COVID-19 vaccination location.

Find a COVID-19 vaccine or booster: Search vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you.

Get Vaccinated Even If You Had COVID-19 and Think You are Immune

You should get a COVID-19 vaccine even if you already had COVID-19. No currently available test can reliably determine if you are protected after being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. However, you may consider delaying your next vaccine dose (primary dose or booster) by 3 months from when your symptoms started or, if you had no symptoms, when you first received a positive test.

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine after having COVID-19 provides added protection to your immune system. People who already had COVID-19 and do not get vaccinated after their recovery are more likely to get COVID-19 again than those who get vaccinated after their recovery.

People Who Can Wait to Get Vaccinated

If you recently had COVID-19, you may consider delaying your next COVID-19 vaccine (either primary dose or booster) by 3 months from when your symptoms started or when you received a positive test.

Routine Medical Procedures and Screenings

Most routine medical procedures and screenings can be performed before or after COVID-19 vaccination. However, if you are due for a mammogram, ask your doctor about when you should get a vaccine. Some experts recommend getting your mammogram before being vaccinated or waiting four to six weeks after getting your shot. People who have received a COVID-19 vaccine can have swelling in the lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy) in the underarm near where they got the shot. This is more common after booster or additional doses than after the primary vaccination series. It is possible that this swelling could cause a false reading on a mammogram.

Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about getting vaccinated before or after any routine medical procedures or screenings.

Considerations for Taking Medication before Getting Vaccinated

For most people, it is not recommended to avoid, discontinue, or delay medications that you are routinely taking for prevention or treatment of other medical conditions around the time of COVID-19 vaccination.

If you are taking medications that suppress the immune system, you should talk to your healthcare provider about what is currently known and not known about the effectiveness of getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Ask about the best timing for receiving a vaccine. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines for moderately to severely immunocompromised people.

Most people who take medication can get a COVID-19 vaccine. Taking one of the following medications is not, on its own, a reason to avoid getting your COVID-19 vaccination:

  • Over-the-counter medications (non-prescription)
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (naproxen, ibuprofen, aspirin, etc.)
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol, etc.)
  • Biologics or biologic response modifiers that treat autoimmune diseases
  • Chemotherapy or other cancer treatment medications
  • Antiviral medication
  • Antibiotics
  • Statins
  • Blood pressure medications/antihypertensives (amlodipine, lisinopril, etc.)
  • Diuretics
  • Thyroid medications
  • Antidepressants
  • Metformin
  • Diabetic medications
  • Insulin
  • Steroids (prednisone, etc.)

This is not a complete list. It is meant to provide some examples of common medications. Taking any of these medications will not make COVID-19 vaccination harmful or dangerous.

If you have questions about medications that you are taking, talk to your healthcare professional or your vaccination provider.


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