Helpful Vaccine Appointment Tips for Community Members with Special Needs
The Burlington County COVID-19 Vaccine Mega-Site is busy, bright, and often crowded. Each day, thousands of people pass through to receive their long-awaited vaccination. For most people, the process is simple and straightforward, and the entire visit lasts about 30 minutes.
Of course some guests have certain special needs, and Virtua and its partners want to ensure they have a positive experience, too. Here are some helpful tips to consider:
- Bring someone who knows you well. Although it’s generally preferable for people to attend their vaccine appointment alone, “plus one” support people are welcome for those who have special needs.
- Wear a shirt with short sleeves. If it’s cold outside, also wear a jacket or zip-up sweatshirt. The reason clothes matter is because the vaccinator must have easy access to a person’s upper arm.
- Bring items that make your vaccine appointment more comfortable, including:
- Noise-canceling headphones
- Hand-held device for entertainment
- Fidget spinners
- Weighted lap pad or pressure vest
- Stuffed animal
- Favorite blanket
- Bring spray or foam hand sanitizer, if preferred. Gel hand sanitizer is available throughout the site.
- Prepare for what to expect at your visit with the vaccine picture schedule. The vaccine picture schedule explains each step of the vaccine visit – from when you walk in, until when you walk out – and who you will see at the vaccine center.
Sensory-friendly rooms available
The vaccine center has sensory-friendly rooms that provide a calm, quiet space where you can receive the vaccine or where you can be observed after getting the vaccine, including a wheelchair- or stroller-accessible space.
- Therapy balls
- Beanbag chairs
- Move-and-sit cushions
- Weighted, vinyl blankets
- Dim lighting with calming light projection on the ceiling
- Soothing music
If you need these accommodations for your vaccine visit, please ask a staff member at registration.
- Pre-vaccination checklist for COVID-19 vaccines for the deaf or hard of hearing, or for individuals who have difficulty communicating
- Comic: How the COVID-19 vaccine can save your life (source: NJ.com)