The COVID-19 vaccine is currently being distributed and administered throughout Minnesota and the United States. To give you an idea of how getting a vaccine works, here’s the run down on the vaccination process. 

Before Your COVID-19 Vaccine

To plan & prepare for your COVID-19 vaccination, follow these steps:  

Research places where you can get a COVID-19 vaccine and make an appointment (if any appointment is required). COVID-19 vaccines are widely available at most clinics.  

Health & Wellness Services offers COVID-19 vaccines daily upstairs in the clinic IWC 222 from 10–11:30AM & 2:30–4PM. 

Investigate the different vaccine types. The FDA and CDC are now allowing for mixing and matching of COVID-19 vaccines for booster shots. If you have a preference between vaccine types, you may need to call around to local clinics to see what vaccine types they have on hand. 

Prepare for your appointment by notifying your boss, supervisor, or professor that you may need time off from work or school. You should be prepared to take the day off after your vaccination appointment in case you need a day to recover from any side effects you may experience.  

Before you head to your scheduled appointment make sure you are wearing appropriate clothing such as a short sleeve shirt, undershirt, over the shoulder or another piece of clothing that will allow easy access to your upper arm. To help ease any nervousness, eat a healthy breakfast or snack and plenty of water to be hydrated during your appointment. 

Lost Vaccine Card?

Lost or misplaced your vaccination card? Download Docket for easy and quick access to your immunization records.

During Your Vaccine

Before heading to your appointment remember to bring your cell phonevaccination card (if receiving a second or third dose), your health insurance information and wear a mask. 

What to expect at your appointment: 

    • When you get to your vaccination clinic you will need to check-in and answer a series of questions similar to the ones you were asked while scheduling your appointment. 
    • Once you are all checked in, you will be directed to a provider who will administer your dose of the vaccine. 
    • After receiving your dose, you will be monitored for 15 minutes to ensure you have no signs or symptoms of an allergic reaction 
    • During or after your appointment, you should receive a vaccination card that is meant to keep track of what vaccine you received, when you received it, and where you received it. You should also receive a fact sheet with information about the specific COVID-19 vaccine you are received.  
    • After you have received your dose of the vaccine, waited 15-30 minutes, got approval from clinic staff, and perhaps scheduled your next appointment, you will be allowed to leave. 

Second doses of Pfizer should be given 21 days apart and Moderna doses should be given 28 days apart. Booster shots can be given at least 6 months after receiving your second dose. 

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires a single dose and booster shots can be given at least 2 months after receiving your initial dose. 

After Your COVID-19 Vaccine

Hooray! At this point in the process, you would have received your vaccine! You may be asking yourself now what do I do? Well, here are some things you should be mindful of after you receive the vaccine.  

Vaccine Side Effects

After you receive a dose of the vaccine you may or may not experience post-vaccine symptoms such as 

  • Pain, Swelling or Itching around the injection site 
  • Headache 
  • Tiredness 
  • Muscle aches 
  • Nausea  
  • Chills  
  • Fever
  • Severe reaction 

It is important to note that people may experience fever or a severe reaction to the vaccine. Any other symptoms you have should go away within a few days.  

Once your receive a vaccine...

Please fill out the self-report form

Sign-Up for V-Safe

To report and keep track of your symptoms, consider signing up for v-safe, a tool created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to check-in on you after you receive the vaccine. This tool will periodically send you text messages with a link to a short daily check-in survey which monitors any symptoms you have post-vaccination.  

After Getting Vaccinated

Even after you are fully vaccinated you still need to continue to follow COVID-19 prevention measures and guidelines such as wearing a mask, staying 6 feet away from others, and practicing good hand hygiene in public places.  

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Ask-A-Nurse message line at 507.457.2292 or by e-mail at askanurse@winona.edu.

The following two tabs change content below.

Amy Nelson

Amy Nelson graduated in 2020 with a degree in Art: I-Design. As a student, she worked with the University Marketing & Communications team as a writer and photographer. She was hired after graduation to support public health communications during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Latest posts by Amy Nelson (see all)