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What to expect at your COVID-19 vaccine appointment

The CDC website includes tips on what to expect when you get vaccinated, what information your provider will give you, and resources you can use to monitor your health after you are vaccinated.

Do I need to wear a mask when I receive a COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes, you must wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth during your appointment.

How long do I have to wait between the first and second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for Pfizer and Moderna?

Your second shot is recommended at 21 days for Pfizer and 28 days for Moderna. However, if you get the second shot at any time after the recommended date, you are still considered fully vaccinated. You should not get the second dose earlier than 21 days for Pfizer or 28 days for Moderna. The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine is only one dose.

How effective is one dose of a Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine compared to two doses?

The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines were not studied for use as a single dose. You need 2 shots to complete the primary series if you receive a Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Will I be monitored after being vaccinated?

People who have a history of anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction) from any cause are observed for 30 minutes. All others are monitored for 15 minutes.

Will I receive anything to show proof of vaccination?

You should receive a vaccination card or printout that tells you what COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it, and where you received it. Please be sure to keep this card for your second dose. You may take a photo of your card as a backup digital copy.

You should receive a paper or electronic version of a fact sheet that tells you more about the specific COVID-19 vaccine you are being offered. Each authorized COVID-19 vaccine has its own fact sheet that contains information to help you understand the risks and benefits of receiving that specific vaccine:

What should I do if I lose my COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card? 

You have a few options:

  1. If you are a Baystate Health patient (and vaccinated at Baystate), you can find your vaccine record in the MyBaystate patient portal.
  2. Your record will also be in v-safe, if you enrolled in the program.
  3. You can fill out an Immunization Record Request Form that goes directly to the state Department of Public Health. If you use this form, you will get a complete history of all vaccines you’ve gotten, not just the COVID-19 vaccine, and it can take up to 2 weeks to get your records.

If you were vaccinated at a mass vaccination site, view the instructions for vaccination record requests.