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How to Prepare for Vaccination: From Before, During, and After Process

How to Prepare for Vaccination: From Before, During, and After Process

To many adults, vaccinations may sound only a discussion for kids. However, it shouldn’t be the case. While you may have had the vital shots you need during your childhood years, they don’t guarantee long-term protection as they can wear off over time. Hence, it is still as important to know more about how to prepare for vaccination even as an adult.

Why Are Vaccines Essential Even for Adults

Vaccines work by activating the body to fight the infection. Each contains a dead or weakened germ (or at least some parts), which causes a specific disease.

The body trains itself to fight disease by producing antibodies that bind to specific parts of the germ. This long-lasting response means that if the person is ever subjected to the actual disease, the antibodies are already in place. With that, the body already knows how to combat it. Thus, allowing the person to not fall short and become ill because of the infection. People refer to this as immunity.

Adults are at a much greater risk of developing serious diseases, and this is where vaccines come into the picture.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), immunization is crucial to prevent the spread of contagious diseases. It provides you with the ability to protect not only yourself but as well as your loved ones such as elders and children. This is because immunization shots help in reducing the likelihood of disease transmission from one person to another. For example, the annual flu vaccine helps in preventing the risk of flu-related heart attacks and other flu-related complications.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorses adult vaccines depending on the following factors:

  • Age
  • Prior vaccinations
  • Overall health
  • Lifestyle
  • Occupation
  • Travel destinations
  • Sexual activity

How to Prepare for Vaccination: Before Your Immunization Schedule

Aside from knowing and understanding how vaccines can play an important role in your health, there are also steps you need to undergo to prepare yourself for it.

Below are some of the things you can do prior to your appointment:

  • Familiarize yourself with the vaccines for adults. You may read vaccine materials online or pamphlets from the clinic to get to know what vaccines are applicable for your age. Some adult vaccines include influenza vaccine, pneumococcal vaccine, shingles, human papillomavirus (HPV), and COVID-19, among many others.
  • Look for your vaccination records. It would come in handy to have your record with you so that the doctor would know the shots you already received.
  • Talk to your doctor. Make sure to consult your doctor if you experienced any adverse reactions from your previous vaccinations. You may also ask some follow-up questions to address your concerns.
  • Take care of yourself. Before getting the shot, it is important that you get a good night’s sleep and proper hydration before your vaccination schedule.

How to Prepare for Vaccination: During Your Immunization Schedule

During the vaccination process, it would be helpful to keep yourself calm by doing the following:

  • Avoid looking at the syringe
  • Take deep breaths
  • Relax the muscle or site of vaccination (to make the shot less painful)

How to Prepare for Vaccination: After Your Immunization Schedule

Vaccines are intended to provide immunity without the risk of contracting the disease. While it is normal to build immunity without experiencing any side effects, it is also common to encounter a few side effects.

Following the vaccination, you may experience some mild-to-moderate side effects:

  • Pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site
  • Mild fever
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Muscle and joint aches

Keep in mind that these reactions resolve on their own after a few days.

If you are experiencing such mild side effects, you can do the following to alleviate the discomfort:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Apply a cold compress to the affected area.
  • Take a non-aspirin pain reliever.
  • Slowly move your arm around.

If any of your symptoms persist for more than a few days, or if you have a more severe reaction, contact your doctor right away.

Key Takeaways

Everybody, be it infants, children, or adults, needs vaccines, especially at a time like this when immunity is needed more than ever.

Knowing how to prepare for vaccination can help you and other adults to understand and navigate the whole process.

Learn more about General Health Knowledge here.

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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

What you need to know before, during and after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/before-during-after-covid-19-vaccine Accessed April 18, 2022

Before, During, and After Shots, https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/visit/before-during-after-shots.html Accessed April 18, 2022

Vaccines for adults: Which do you need?, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/vaccines/art-20046750  Accessed April 18, 2022

What to Expect — for Adults, https://www.hhs.gov/immunization/get-vaccinated/for-adults/index.html Accessed April 18, 2022

Adult Immunization: Importance of Staying Up to Date with Vaccines, https://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4033.pdf Accessed April 18, 2022

The Importance of Vaccinations, https://familydoctor.org/the-importance-of-vaccinations/  Accessed April 18, 2022

Why Vaccines are Important for You, https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/reasons-to-vaccinate.html Accessed April 18, 2022

 

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Written by Fiel Tugade Updated Yesterday
Fact Checked by Bianchi Mendoza, R.N.