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Things to do before your COVID-19 vaccine appointment

Novant Health has published a list of things for people to do before their coronavirus vaccine shot.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — After making your appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, there are things you will want to do ahead of your shot.

Novant Health has published a list of things their patients can do before their appointment. While some of the items are specific to their healthcare offices, others on the list are applicable to patients receiving the coronavirus shot at any government clinic, healthcare office, pharmacy, or other public health location.

  1. Do not get vaccinated if you are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms
    If you are experiencing coronavirus symptoms, do not go to the vaccination site, Novant Health warns. You should contact your doctor and reschedule your appointment if you are experiencing symptoms, are quarantining for potential exposure, or have a COVID-19 test result pending.
  2. Wear clothing that allows access to your upper arm
    All of the COVID-19 vaccines, regardless of manufacturer, will be administered as a shot into your upper arm. Wearing loose clothing will speed up the appointment and avoid the need to remove any clothing.
  3. Do not take acetaminophen prior to your shot
    "If you experience arm soreness, chills, or a headache after the shot, experts recommend taking acetaminophen or NSAIDs to alleviate symptoms," Novant Health writes. "However, taking these medications prior to vaccination (in order to prevent post-vaccination symptoms) is not currently recommended, as it’s not yet known if it could interfere with the vaccine-induced antibody responses."
  4. Do not delay other vaccinations or medications
    "The recommendation right now is not to take any medication adjustments for the vaccine," Novant Health explains. "Don't let your medicines interfere with you scheduling the vaccine when it’s available to you. If you do need to receive another vaccine, such as the shingles vaccine or a tetanus shot, just be mindful to separate the shots by at least two weeks."
  5. Wait at least 15 minutes after receiving the vaccine
    Before leaving the vaccine site, you should wait for at least 15 minutes to be certain there are no allergic reactions. "While a reaction is rare, it’s important to wait for a short period of time while there is medical supervision," Novant Health explains. Those with a history of adverse reactions to injections are advised to wait 30 minutes. You should tell your provider if you have ever had a bad reaction to an injection or vaccine.

Have a relative or friend in another state and want to know when they can get vaccinated? Visit NBC News' Plan Your Vaccine site to find out about each state's vaccine rollout plan.

For Novant Health patients specifically, you will need to make an appointment to receive the vaccine. Other healthcare operators or government agencies may operate under different scheduling requirements. Novant Health patients can use their MyChart prior to their scheduled appointment to complete the online check-in. 

"Filling it out at home before the appointment is the easiest way to complete the eCheck-in and will help make your appointment and everyone else’s go smoother," Novant Health says on their site.