Preparing for Your COVID-19 Vaccination
COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick even after you have had COVID-19. Vaccination is an important tool to help us get back to normal. This information will help you prepare for your COVID-19 vaccination.
Learn more about the different types of COVID-19 vaccines and how they work.
- Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
- Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine
- Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine
Learn more about the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccination.
Plan and Prepare for Your COVID-19 Vaccination
- Find out how to get a COVID-19 vaccine
- Get vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19.
- Get a COVID-19 vaccine or other vaccines at the same visit or without waiting 14 days between vaccines.
- Learn more about routine medical procedures and screenings and COVID-19 vaccination.
- If you are getting a COVID-19 vaccine that requires two doses, be sure to schedule an appointment for your second shot.
- People with moderately to severely compromised immune systems should receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine after the initial 2 doses.
play circle light iconWatch Video: What to Expect at Your COVID-19 Vaccination Appointment [00:00:48]
Get Vaccinated Even If You Have Had COVID-19
You should get a COVID-19 vaccine, even if you have already had COVID-19 because:
- Research has not yet shown how long you are protected from getting COVID-19 again after you recover from COVID-19.
- Vaccination helps protect you even if you’ve already had COVID-19.
Evidence is emerging that people get better protection by being fully vaccinated compared with having had COVID-19. One study showed that unvaccinated people who already had COVID-19 are more than 2 times as likely than fully vaccinated people to get COVID-19 again. Learn more about why getting vaccinated is a safer way to build protection than getting infected.
If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your healthcare professional if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
If you or your child have a history of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults or children (MIS-A or MIS-C), consider delaying vaccination until you have recovered from being sick and for 90 days after the date of diagnosis of MIS-A or MIS-C. Learn more about the clinical considerations people with a history of MIS-A or MIS-C.
Experts are still learning more about how long vaccines protect against COVID-19 in real-world conditions. CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.
Considerations for Taking Medication before Getting Vaccinated
It is not recommended you take over-the-counter medicine – such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen – before vaccination for the purpose of trying to prevent vaccine-related side effects. It is not known how these medications might affect how well the vaccine works. However, if you take these medications regularly for other reasons, you should keep taking them before you get vaccinated. It is also not recommended to take antihistamines before getting a COVID-19 vaccine to try to prevent allergic reactions.
Learn more about medications to relieve post-vaccination side effects.
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.
However, 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 and the best timing for receiving one. 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
- Blood pressure medications/antihypertensives (amlodipine, lisinopril, etc.)
- Thyroid medications
- Diabetic medications
- 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.