Tips to manage COVID-19 vaccine side effects

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Common side effects associated with COVID-19 vaccines

Fever, headache, nausea, fatigue, muscle pain, and injection site pain/swelling are some of the most common side effects associated with COVID-19 vaccines. In most cases, the side effects are mild and resolve on their own within one or two days.

Is it normal to experience side effects after COVID-19 vaccination?

It is normal to experience some mild side effects after getting vaccinated. Side effects indicate that the body’s immune system is responding to the COVID-19 vaccine and is getting ready to fight the virus. However, not experiencing side effects doesn’t mean the vaccine isn’t effective. It means everybody responds differently.

Proven ways to relieve COVID-19 vaccine side effects

One can adopt simple measures to get relief from the side effects of COVID-19 vaccine. Let’s take a look at these measures.

#1 - Drink plenty of hydrating fluids

Experts recommend staying well-hydrated before and after getting the COVID-19 vaccine shots. Dehydration can worsen the side effects that you may encounter. Therefore, be sure to drink plenty of fluids like water, fresh juices, and coconut water, to stay hydrated.

#2 - Take rest

Resting plays an important role in the mitigation of post-vaccination side effects. Experts say that poor sleep and strenuous physical activity can exacerbate the side effects. Therefore, it is important to get plenty of sleep and rest, to limit the severity of vaccine-induced side effects.

#3 - Move your arm

People who are experiencing soreness and stiffness in the vaccinated arm should try to move it as much as possible. This may seem counterintuitive and cause a little discomfort; however, it will help ease local inflammation and soreness by stimulating the flow of blood to the region.

#4 - Use a cool wet cloth or ice pack

After a COVID-19 vaccine is injected, your arm can experience an increased influx of blood and immune cells. This can result in pain at the injection site. Experts recommend applying a cool wet cloth or ice pack at the injection site to ease pain and swelling.

#5 - Eat a well-balanced and nutritious diet

The vaccine relies on the body’s immune system to provide protection against the infection. To maintain a healthy immune system, it is important to consume a well-balanced and healthy diet that includes foods rich in all the essential nutrients, especially vitamins A, C, E, and zinc.

#6 - Take pain relief medication when necessary

People who are unable to manage the pain with self-care techniques can consider taking over-the-counter (OTC) medications like paracetamol. The medication is less likely to interfere with the immune response generated by the vaccine. However, those with pre-existing conditions should consult their physician before taking any other medication.

Know when to call a doctor

In most cases, the post-vaccination side effects will subside on their own. However, people who are experiencing worsening of side effects or other serious symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, blurred vision, abdominal pain, swelling in legs, rashes, drowsiness or seizures (fits), etc. should seek immediate medical attention.

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