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I’m Vaccinated. What’s Next?

What you can do to protect others

A Veteran receiving a COVID-19 vaccine Update: The CDC has released new guidelines March 8, 2021. So, you received your second COVID-19 vaccine dose, what’s next? If you’re one of the lucky ones who’s fully vaccinated for COVID-19, you’re probably feeling hopeful that you’re free of risk from the virus. Although you might be tempted to ditch your mask, gather with friends and family, and travel freely, CDC rules for protecting yourself and others haven’t changed.

Until vaccines are widely distributed to most of the population, here are four ways to stay informed and keep yourself and others safe.

  1. Keep your mask on: Even though it’s tempting to return to life as you knew it, protecting yourself and others will continue to slow the spread, even if you don’t get sick yourself. While others wait for the COVID-19 vaccine, you must continue practicing good habits. These include covering your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, staying at least 6 feet away from others, avoiding crowds, and washing your hands often.

  2. Monitor any potential side effects: It’s normal for some people to experience side effects after getting any vaccine. You may feel pain or have swelling on your arm or flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, tiredness, headache, throughout the rest of your body. They should go away after a few days, but if they don’t, contact your health care provider by signing in and sending a Secure Message (sign in required).

  3. Check your health records in My HealtheVet: Your vaccine record will appear in My HealtheVet Immunizations if you receive the vaccine through VA. To access your VA health records, sign in to your My HealtheVet Premium account. You can also check in with your health care team to learn if you are up-to-date with all other vaccinations or screenings.

  4. Talk to your doctor: If you have any questions about vaccine side effects or how they work, let your doctor know. You can start the conversation by signing in and sending a Secure Message (sign in required) to your health care team.

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