Prepare for Your COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment
What to know before you go
You can help us keep the OhioHealth COVID-19 vaccine appointment process running smoothly by reviewing these policies and tips before you arrive. We also explain what you can expect with your first or second dose.
If you have questions leading up to your appointment or need to reschedule, call (614) 533.6999 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. We also ask that you reschedule or cancel your appointment if you would prefer a different type of vaccine than Pfizer.
Step 1: Check in for your appointment when you arrive. One of our associates will ask you a series of questions and provide you a vaccination record card. Your card will include your name, date of birth, the date, location and type of vaccine you will be getting (Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson).
Step 2: You will be asked to wait until it’s your turn. When one of our clinical associates is ready to administer your shot, your number will be called.
Step 3: When your number is called, you will give the clinical associate your vaccination record card. They will ask you a few questions. Based on your responses, you will be asked to wait 15 or 30 minutes for observation after your shot. Administering your shot will only take a few moments, and you may choose which arm to use.
Step 4: Waiting for observation is an incredibly important part of the process. We want to make sure you don’t have any adverse reactions that would make it unsafe for you to drive.
Step 5: If you received the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine, you're done! It may take a few weeks to achieve maximum immunity. If you received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, we’ll schedule your second-dose appointment before you leave. Depending on which type of vaccine you receive, this will be 21–28 days after your first dose. It's unknown how much protection a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine provides, so it's critical that you keep your second-dose appointment as close to the recommended interval as possible. Your second dose will strengthen your immune response to COVID-19, and is necessary to achieve maximum immunity.
If you need to reschedule your second-dose appointment due to necessary travel or a medical procedure, call the OhioHealth COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at (614) 533.6999 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Your appointment can't be rescheduled through OhioHealth MyChart.
Check in for your appointment when you arrive. One of our associates will ask you for your vaccination record card or a photo of it. If you lost your card or don't have a photo, we can look up your record in the system. After you check in, your second-dose appointment will follow the same steps as your first-dose appointment.
You may experience more side effects after your second dose than you did with your first dose, but not everyone does. Mild side effects are common signs that your immune system is strengthing its response to the virus. They usually go away within a day or two. Drinking plenty of water, getting a good night's rest and eating a balanced meal before your appointment may help lessen possible side effects.
It takes up to two weeks after your second dose to achieve maximum immunity. Getting vaccinated will prevent a severe infection, but it does not provide 100% immunity. You can help protect those waiting for their turn to be vaccinated by continuing to cover your mouth and nose with a mask, washing your hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others.
Reschedule if you don't feel well
Monitor how you’re feeling leading up to the day of your appointment. Please reschedule your appointment if you:
- Are feeling sick the day of your vaccination.
- Have COVID-19 or were exposed to COVID-19 and are in quarantine.
- Traveled out of state in the two weeks before your appointment.
- Received monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma treatment for COVID-19 in the last 90 days.
- Received another vaccine in the past two weeks.
Mild side effects from vaccines are common. It’s a sign that your immune system is strengthening its response to the virus. We will observe you for 15–30 minutes after your first and second doses, but it’s important that you continue watching for side effects after you leave.
You may experience:
- Mild body aches or joint pain
- Body chills
- A low-grade fever
- Slight muscle pain, redness or swelling in the arm where the vaccine was given
- Swollen lymph nodes*
Side effects appear to be more common after the second dose of the vaccine, but usually subside within a day or two. Drinking plenty of water, getting a good night's rest and eating a balanced meal before your appointment may help lessen possible side effects. Exercising the arm where you received your vaccine can also help relieve discomfort.
Call your primary care provider or seek urgent care if you have side effects. Your provider may also recommend taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If your symptoms become severe, go to the emergency department or call 911.
*Swollen lymph nodes under the arm are a known side effect of COVID-19 vaccination that can be misidentified as breast cancer during screening exams. Consider scheduling your mammogram before your first dose of the vaccine or six weeks after your final dose. Breast screening is one of the best ways to detect cancer early, so don’t delay an exam if a new breast lump or symptoms appear, such as nipple discharge, skin changes or palpable adenopathy (abnormally large lymph nodes).
Get set up with v-safe
You should receive information about v-safe during your appointment. V-safe is a free app that allows you to notify the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention if you have side effects. It can also send you second-dose reminders!