There are certain things you can do prior to and after getting vaccinated that may help minimize some of the uncomfortable side effects. And rest assured: The following pieces of advice won’t hinder or lessen your immune response.

  • You may take acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If medically appropriate, antipyretic or analgesic medications
    (acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) may be taken for the treatment of post-vaccination symptoms. If you experience a fever for more than 48 hours after vaccination, consider getting tested for COVID-19.
  • Apply a clean, cool wet cloth. If you’d prefer not to medicate, applying a cool cloth or compress to the injection site can help alleviate arm pain and swelling. And dress lightly if possible. Constricting layers can worsen your discomfort.
  • Avoid excessive amounts of alcohol. Alcohol won’t decrease your immune response, but it may lead to symptoms similar to those associated with the vaccine. So, as a word of caution, it’s best to avoid heavy drinking prior to and after vaccination.
  • Stay hydrated. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids before and after vaccination. Dehydration can exacerbate any side effects that you may encounter.
  • Avoid strenuous activity. It’s a good idea to use and exercise your vaccinated arm frequently. But overall, you may want to take it easy for one or two days following vaccination. Overdoing it can weaken your immune system – and right now, the goal is to strengthen it.
  • You may take an antihistamine. If you’re prone to or have experienced redness, swelling, hives or itching following any vaccination, you may want to consider an antihistamine like Benadryl prior to getting vaccinated

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