Rundown of a vaccine appointment

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State of New Jersey

Rundown of a vaccine appointment


Some people have questions about what happens when you get your vaccine. The process can vary depending on where you go, but here’s a rundown of what to expect at your COVID-19 appointment: 

  • Arrive 15 minutes early (don’t take over-the-counter medicine, like ibuprofen, aspirin, antihistamines, or acetaminophen before your shot).
  • You will likely get checked-in first, and potentially sign a consent form. (you may get asked some screening questions).
  • You will not have to pay anything for the vaccination — it is free.
  • You will get your vaccine in the arm of your choice.
  • You will be given a CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card.
  • You will sit for 15 or 30 minutes, depending on your medical history, so the workers on site can monitor you for any allergic reactions.
  • The workers will let you know when you are cleared to leave.
  • FYI — side effects after the shots vary, but generally, it is a good idea to set aside some time (if possible) to rest. If you need to, you can even use sick leave to get vaccinated, so you don’t miss a paycheck. For full details or to file a complaint, see
  • Vaccination sites also have accommodations for folks with disabilities

What to Expect

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