Cartoon image of a man showing his arm where he received a vaccination

1. Think about what you wear

There isn’t a dress code for COVID-19 vaccination clinics, but ask a vaccinator and chances are they will have stories about people who have turned up to get their dose and they’re not wearing ideal clothes. How can that be?

It’s not all the time someone requires access to your upper arm, but this is where you will receive your dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. It’s important for vaccinators to see your whole arm – literally from the bony part at the top of the shoulder right down to the elbow.

This is important so that they can see the whole of your deltoid muscle to make sure you get the vaccine in the right place.

So on the day of your appointment, we suggest:

  • If it’s cold, ensure you are wearing layers that can be easily removed to access your arm.
  • If wearing sleeves, ensure they are loose and can be easily rolled up to above your shoulder.
  • The ideal outfit? A singlet top with something warmer over the top. This applies in all settings, for example if you are going through a drive-through vaccination site.
  • Another quick tip is to ensure your skin is clean, because you don’t want possible particles that could be dirty near the needles. Vaccinators do have swabs if your skin needs a quick clean.

2. Be calm and relaxed

Vaccinators will tell you that to feel the least from the needle is to ensure your muscle is nice and relaxed. They have little tricks and will prompt you at the time to make sure your arm is in a good position for this.
Of course, it helps if you are feeling good too and not nervous. It’s very common for people to dislike needles.