Southern Nevada Health District nurse Daliah Rubio administers a a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination to Victor Rodriguez, 70, of Nevada, at Jerome Mack Middle School on January 29, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Southern Nevada Health District is operating the site as a pop-up clinic for seniors age 70 and older.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Southern Nevada Health District nurse Daliah Rubio administers a a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination to Victor Rodriguez, 70, of Nevada, at Jerome Mack Middle School on January 29, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Southern Nevada Health District is operating the site as a pop-up clinic for seniors age 70 and older. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Most Michiganders become eligible for the vaccine April 5. We’ve got everything you need to know before, during, and after your vaccination.

MICHIGAN—The majority of Michiganders are about to get their shot at getting vaccinated. 

Months ahead of the late-summer predictions, all Michiganders over 16 will be eligible to receive a vaccine as soon as April 5. That’s thanks in part to ambitious plans from President Joe Biden

Starting April 5, appointments can be made, and we’ve got the tips you need to get your vaccine and reclaim the summer. 

So, How Do I Get My Appointment? 

Sometimes vaccines become available without an appointment, but for most people, the first step toward vaccination is solidifying your spot. You can do this three ways:

  • Check the website of your local health department or hospital to find out their process or for registration forms (here’s a handy map of local health departments)
  • Check your local pharmacies like Meijer, Rite Aid, Kroger, Walmart (Mid/Central and Northern MI) or Snyder Drugs (U.P. residents)
  • Call the number for help. Residents who don’t have access to the internet or who need assistance navigating the vaccine scheduling process can call the COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136 (press 1) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

If you still need assistance, Michiganders can call 2-1-1.

SEE ALSO: Michigander Explains Why Vaccine Side Effects Are Not Nearly as Bad as Dying From COVID-19

What Should I Expect at my Appointment?

You’ll need your mask like any other outing, but this time loose clothing that allows access to your upper arm. Bring eligibility papers (e.g. proof of address if required; they will tell you when you set up an appointment). 

Most people get the shot in their non-dominant arm, or if they sleep on their side they get it on the side they don’t sleep on. 

Other than that, it’s a normal day. You shouldn’t change your medication routine before the vaccine, take what you would typically. You can have someone drive you, but medical staff will monitor you during a waiting period to make sure you’re safe to return home. 

If you feel soreness afterwards, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend using an ice pack or clean, warm compress to relieve the pain. Any symptoms from the vaccine should last about three days.

Oh, and make sure your vaccine card gets filled out.

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What Comes Next? 

If you got one of the vaccines that requires a second dose, don’t miss your scheduled appointment. Follow the same basic steps as the first time. 

The vaccine card is important proof of your immunization, but you probably should leave it out or hide your personal information in those post-immunization selfies. It can contain sensitive personal information you wouldn’t otherwise make available on social media. 

And after your fully vaccinated? Although you are probably immune to the coronavirus after being fully vaccinated, you should continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing until most other Michiganders are vaccinated, too. Michigan is on track to be able to vaccinate everyone by late summer, but returning to normal depends on most Michiganders getting vaccinated.

READ MORE: I’m Vaccinated, Now What? 7 Key Questions Post-Vaccine Michiganders Are Asking

In a step toward normal life, fully vaccinated Michiganders can be around one another indoors without much concern now. 

Lastly, you can help others get their vaccine. Returning to normal can only happen when most people have been immunized, so encourage people in your life to get vaccinated and help them find the resources they need to do so, whether that’s help setting up their appointment or a ride to the clinic.