Preparing for your appointment
Once you're scheduled to get vaccinated, review our list of everything you need to know, bring or do on the day of your COVID-19 vaccination appointment.
What to bring
Bring an ID that includes your name and age. If you’re coming for a second-dose appointment, bring the COVID-19 vaccination record card that you received at your first-dose appointment.
You’ll need to wait at least 15 minutes after receiving your vaccine before you leave, so consider bringing a book or phone to read while you wait.
Who can attend
While visitors aren't permitted, there are exceptions.
Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian when they arrive to receive a vaccine.
You can bring a caregiver, however, they might have to sit near our vaccine area while they wait for you. We also have wheelchairs and staff available to assist you onsite if needed.
What to wear
We’ll provide you with a sterile, hospital-grade surgical mask when you arrive for your appointment. This mask should cover your nose, mouth and chin the entire time you’re at the vaccination site.
You should also wear clothing that allows access to your upper arm. Loose-fitting tops or short-sleeved or sleeveless shirts are best.
How to get there
The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center vaccinations for COVID-19 take place at two facilities:
Please note: You must have a scheduled appointment to be vaccinated at either location.
Vaccination Station East
1441 Phale D. Hale Drive
Columbus, OH 43203
The Schottenstein Center
555 Borror Drive
Columbus, OH 43210
Get information about directions and parking for each site.
When to arrive
We ask that you arrive about 5 minutes before your scheduled appointment time. You should expect the entire appointment to take about an hour.
When you should consider rescheduling
If you’re not feeling well on the day of your vaccination, use MyChart or call 614-688-8299 to cancel or reschedule your appointment for a later date. If you have a fever (100°F or higher), it’s not safe to receive a vaccine.
If you’re in quarantine after a COVID-19 exposure, you should delay your vaccination until at least 14 days after your exposure.
If you need to reschedule for any other reason, please call 614-688-8299 to postpone your appointment.
Medications before and after vaccination
Before vaccination: It’s not recommended that you take fever-reducing or analgesic pain-relieving medications (ex: acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen) right before receiving the vaccine for the purpose of preventing post-vaccination symptoms, because information on the effects of such use on antibody responses is not yet available.
After vaccination: The CDC recommends that fever-reducing or analgesic pain-relieving medications may be taken after vaccination to treat post-vaccination symptoms as needed.
There are no other limitations for specific medications at this time.
What to expect at the vaccination site
Upon entering the building, one of our staff members will direct you how to check in. You may need to wait in line before reaching the check-in desk. If you’d like to use a wheelchair while you’re at the facility, ask a staff member and they’ll provide you with one.
At the check-in desk, you’ll be asked for your ID. If this is your first-dose appointment, you’ll be provided with a COVID-19 vaccination record card in addition to information about which vaccine you’re about to receive.
After checking in, you’ll be directed to the vaccination area, where a staff member will find you a sanitized seat to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Clinical staff will ask you some questions about your health, such as your weight and medications you may be taking, before administering the injection. You’ll be able to choose which arm to receive the shot. Special privacy stations are available for those with religious or cultural needs who would like to be vaccinated in a more private environment.
After your shot, you’ll need to wait for 15 or 30 minutes for observation (the length of time depends on your answers to some of the health status questions). This observation period is important so that we can ensure that you don’t experience adverse reactions, especially if they would make it unsafe for you to drive.
If this is your first vaccine appointment and you’ve received the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, our staff will also use this waiting period to schedule your second-dose appointment. Second doses of Moderna are scheduled 28 days after the first dose, and second doses of Pfizer are scheduled 21 days after the first dose.
If you’ve received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you don’t need to schedule a second appointment — it’s a single-dose vaccine.
Once your waiting period is finished, you’re all set and on your way to developing immunity from COVID-19. It will take two to three weeks after your final vaccination dose to reach maximum immunity.
As you exit, you’re welcome to get your photo with a Brutus Buckeye statue or one of our photo backgrounds to commemorate that you’ve done your part to help control the COVID-19 pandemic.
What to expect after vaccination
It’s natural and expected for the body to have an immune response to a vaccine. Some people have experienced side effects to COVID-19 vaccines that include injection site pain or redness, fatigue, muscle/joint pain, low-grade fever, swollen lymph nodes, nausea, body chills and headache.
Side effects were more frequently reported after the second dose.
Just as you would with other vaccines, you’ll be provided information about the vaccine’s risks and benefits, what to do in the case of an adverse reaction and where to find additional information.
A copy of the emergency use authorization will be provided at the appointment, as well as a vaccine information sheet (VIS).
If you experience common side effects from the vaccine, it’s still necessary to receive the second dose for the vaccine to be effective.
More questions about the COVID-19 vaccine? Visit our COVID-19 vaccine FAQ.