How to get a vaccine, and what to do then

February 9, 2021 Joe Brady

The good news is we are entering the “light at the end of a long dark tunnel” phase of the COVID -19 Pandemic. The bad news is it’s more than just a little confusing just how to go about getting your vaccine. In general, you need to contact your health care provider and see what procedures they specifically have set up. They can tell you when where and whatever rules they have. Below are listed specific instructions for SCL health and Kaiser. Both have contingencies for folks who are not SCL or Kaiser patients so don’t be shy about getting on the lists. At the bottom of this email is a complete list of sites that are offering vaccines.

The most important thing people need to do right now is to be patient. Everybody knew the rollout of the vaccine was going to be rough so everybody needs to rollback and relax. They will get to everybody as fast as is humanly and bureaucratically possible. Remember after you get the vaccine you are still going to have to be careful, wear a mask, socially distance and limit exposure for a while until we get the all-clear from public health officials. With new variants coming along we may have to use precautions for quite some time. Having said that, it will at least be somewhat of stress relief when you do get your shot so definitely sign up as soon as possible but be patient as you wait your turn.

Listed below you will find instructions for getting on a list and also for what to do after you get the shot if you do experience side effects.

Getting on a list

Here is how you can get yourself and your loved ones on the list for the “15-minutes-to-get-there” phone call that an extra dose vaccine is available. It also places you on an appointment list to get contacted when more vaccine is available. 

Anyone can sign up.  You no longer need to live close to one of Colorado CSL’s hospitals:

  • Saint Joseph Hospital – Denver
  • Lutheran Medical Center – Wheatridge
  • Platte Valley Medical Center – Brighton
  • Good Samaritan Medical Center – Lafayette
  • St. Mary’s Medical Center – Grand Junction

Questions call~ Jacqui 303-725-7482

Kaiser Members

Important information:

  • COVID-19 vaccine — If you want to get the vaccine when you’re eligible, you can now hold your place in line. Just fill out our COVID-19 vaccine sign-up form, and we’ll notify you when you qualify for the vaccine and we have enough doses available. 
  • We’ll distribute vaccines according to guidance from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and based on the supply available to us. We’re currently providing COVID-19 vaccine appointments for people in Phase 1A and some people in Phase 1B. Due to limited supply, you won’t be able to choose which COVID-19 vaccine you get. 
  • For more information on when you and your family can get the vaccine, visit You can also call our 24/7 recorded message hotline at 1-855-550-0951 (available in English and Spanish) for regular updates.
  • Get care from home — Whether you have COVID-19 symptoms or just don’t feel well, you have many ways to get care from the comfort and safety of your own home.
    • Online care options — You can answer some questions online about your symptoms with an e-visit, talk to a clinician with a phone appointment,1 or try a video visit.1 If you have non-urgent health questions, you can also email your doctor’s office and get a reply usually within 2 business days. Visit to see all your online care options.
    • Urgent care at home — If you live in Colorado Springs or the Denver/Boulder area, including Longmont, you can also get in-home urgent care from DispatchHealth, 7 days a week, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Call 303-500-1518 (TTY 711) in Denver/Boulder or 719-270-0805 (TTY 711) in Colorado Springs to request a visit.

For a complete list of those providing vaccinations in Denver and the rest of Colorado Scroll to the bottom of this page for a list

What to Expect after Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.

Common side effects

On the arm where you got the shot:

  • Pain
  • Swelling

Throughout the rest of your body:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Tiredness
  • Headache

Doctors say to avoid OTC meds like ibuprofen or Tylenol before your COVID-19 vaccine there is a theoretical risk these medications could dampen your immune response to the vaccine—but taking them after for side effects should be fine since side effects after the vaccine means that your immune system has responded already.

Helpful tips

If you have pain or discomfort, talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

To reduce pain and discomfort where you got the shot:

  • Apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area.
  • Use or exercise your arm.

To reduce discomfort from fever:

  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Dress lightly.

When to call the doctor

In most cases, discomfort from fever or pain is normal. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider:

  • If the redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours
  • If your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days

If you get a COVID-19 vaccine and you think you might be having a severe allergic reaction after leaving the vaccination site, seek immediate medical care by calling 911. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and rare severe allergic reactions.

Scheduling your second shot?

If you need help scheduling your vaccine appointment for your second shot, contact the location that set up your appointment for assistance. For questions or if you are having trouble using vaccine management or scheduling systems, reach out to the organization that enrolled you in the system. This may be your state or local health department, employer, or vaccine provider.

About your second shot

Both COVID-19 mRNA vaccines will need 2 shots to get the most protection. The timing between your first and second shot depends on which vaccine you received. You should get your second shot:

  • for the Pfizer-BioNTech 3 weeks (or 21 days) after your first shot,
  • for the Moderna 1 month (or 28 days) after your first shot.

You should get your second shot as close to the recommended 3-week or 1-month interval as possible. However, there is no maximum interval between the first and second doses for either vaccine. You should not get the second dose earlier than the recommended interval.


  • Side effects may feel like flu and even affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.
  • With most COVID-19 vaccines, you will need 2 shots in order for them to work. Get the second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get a second shot.
  • It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines that require 2 shots may not protect you until a week or two after your second shot.

It’s important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, stay at least 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often.

Printable Handout for Vaccine Recipient

What to Expect after Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

PDF Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers to Give after Vaccination


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Complete list of vaccination sites in Denver

Denver County

CDPHE Laboratory Services Division – (303) 692-2000

ClearSpring Pharmacy – (303) 333-2010

Clinica Tepeyac – (303) 458-5302

Denver Health Medical Center – (303) 436-6000

Denver Public Health Immunization and Travel Clinic – (303) 602-3520

Eastside Adult Clinic – (303) 602-6333

Family Medicine Clinic for Health Equity – (303) 954-0058

Federico F. Pena Southwest Family Health Center – (303) 602-0000

Kaiser Permanente Skyline – (855) 550-0951

Kindred Hospital Denver – (303) 715-7373

King Soopers Pharmacy #1 – (303) 571-1943

Kindred Hospital Denver – (303) 715-7373

King Soopers Pharmacy #7 – (303) 936-7403

King Soopers Pharmacy #29 – (303) 832-5298

King Soopers Pharmacy #93 – (303) 333-3837

King Soopers Pharmacy #123 – (720) 531-6371

King Soopers Pharmacy #93 – (303) 333-3837

Lowry Family Health Center – (303) 602-4545

National Jewish Health – (303) 398-1355

Park Hill Family Health Center – (303) 602-6700

Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center – (720) 754-6000

Porter Adventist Hospital – (303) 778-1955

Red Rock Pharmacy – (303) 745-3000

Rose Medical Center – (303) 320-2121

Safeway Pharmacy #0244 – (303) 458-8438

Safeway Pharmacy #0885 – (303) 744-8660

Safeway Pharmacy #1248 – (303) 477-1470

Safeway Pharmacy #2246 – (303) 861-1212

Safeway Pharmacy #2714 – (303) 242-3535

Safeway Pharmacy #3836 – (303) 340-4459

Sam Sandos Westside Family Health Center – (303) 436-4200

SCL Health St. Joseph Hospital – (303) 812-2000

Stout Street Health Center – (303) 293-2220

Webb Adult Clinic – (303) 436-7000

Westside Adult Clinic – (303) 436-7000

Westwood Family Health Center – (303) 436-7000

 For other counties in Colorado see

 For other counties in Colorado see