What to expect at the vaccine clinic

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Register when it’s your turn, book an appointment and get the vaccine. Go here for more information. 

Do you have needle fears? Read our Adults: Managing needle fears for ways to reduce the stress or discomfort some adults experience when getting a vaccine.

Arrive prepared

Get ready for your appointment:

  • Wear a short-sleeved shirt and a mask
  • Arrive a few minutes before your scheduled appointment time
  • You can bring one person with you for support
  • All clinics are wheelchair accessible
  • You will be provided a mask if you need one

During the appointment

You can expect to be at the clinic for 30 to 60 minutes in total. At the clinic you will: 

  • Complete a check-in process.
  • Get your vaccine dose. All COVID-19 vaccines in Canada are effective and are safe and the best vaccine is the one available to you first.
  • Wait in an observation area for about 15 minutes. Why wait? It is important to stay in the clinic for 15 minutes after getting any vaccine because about 1 in a million people can have a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This may include hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the throat, tongue or lips. Should this reaction occur, your health-care provider is prepared to treat it. Emergency treatment includes administration of epinephrine (adrenaline) and transfer by ambulance to the nearest emergency department. If symptoms develop after you leave the clinic, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number.
  • Always report serious or unexpected reactions to your health-care provider.

What should I do after I get the vaccine?

  • Read what to expect after you get a mRNA vaccine.
  • Read what to expect after you get a COVISHIELD or AstraZeneca vaccine.
  •  You should not receive any other vaccines until 14 days after a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. 
  • It is important to keep a copy of your COVID-19 immunization record card in a safe place. To get a digital copy of your immunization record card, we recommend registering for B.C.'s Health Gateway, where your digital immunization record card will be available only after you receive the vaccine.
  • Reminder:  Provincial health orders  remain in place for everyone, regardless if they have received the vaccine. 

Returning for your second dose

The person giving you the vaccine will let you know when you can return for your second dose. It is important to get both doses of the vaccine to protect you against COVID-19. 

  • Bring your immunization record with you for the second dose. 
  • A record of your COVID-19 immunization will also be available online through BC's Health Gateway website. Click here to register.

Layers of protection

Going back to normal life will take time and together, we can keep each other safe. Even if you have received the vaccine, you must follow provincial health orders and protect others by:
  • Washing your hands
  • Staying home when sick and getting tested
  • Keeping a safe distance from others
  • Wearing a mask in public indoor spaces

Lifting current provincial health orders will be based on many factors, including:

  • Number of people immunized and level of community immunity
  • Number of COVID-19 cases in the province
  • Health care system capacity



Date last updated: 
Monday, Apr 05, 2021
Date last reviewed: 
Tuesday, Mar 30, 2021