The United States is well on its way to achieving herd immunity from COVID-19. This occurs when 75-80% of the population receives the vaccine. As of March 29th, 2021, more than 28% of the U.S. population received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. While mask wearing and social distancing are far from over, the country seems to be heading in a safer direction.
Now, if you received your first or second shot, or are about to get the vaccine, you may have some questions about the vaccination process. What is safe and what isn’t safe to do after you get your shot? As many health experts warn, it’s safe to expect some pain at the injection site for a day or so. It’s possible to experience other side effects, which may or may not occur depending on what you do post-vaccination.
A lot of people are ecstatic about the vaccine. The return to some semblance of what we used to know as normal is exciting. People want to reunite with family members and socialize with friends again. They want to travel and emerge from quarantine cocoons! Well, hold your horses, kids. Don’t go licking door knobs and frolicking with whomever you please once you receive the vaccination. Additionally, there are certain self-care tips to consider in the days and weeks following your shot(s).
What Not To Do Post-Vaccination
Don’t Get Drunk
Sure, it’s tempting to pop a bottle of champagne or celebrate with some drinks, but don’t. Drinking alcohol, especially hard liquor, is one of the worst things you can do to the body after receiving the vaccine. Drinking post-vaccination may be the worst mistake you make. It doesn’t affect the efficacy of the vaccine, but it can increase the risk of side effects, or worsen the side effects you experience. The side effects of alcohol can compound the side effects of the vaccine, some health experts warn. This can cause extended misery in the form of nausea, body aches, or other flu-like symptoms. Experts advise that if people decide to drink alcohol, they should only consume a small amount about three days after the shot. Some health experts suggest waiting longer.
Don’t Take Over-The-Counter Meds
There’s advice circulating the web that suggests people to self-medicate with over-the-counter medications right before or right after the shot. Many of these medications include ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen. People want to prevent the side effects or reduce them, but these medications can actually reduce the efficacy of the vaccine. They may even interfere with how the vaccine interacts with the body. Health experts say that you should not take these medications preemptively. Should you start experiencing headaches, body aches, or other side effects, then you can take the suggested dose to help the body.
Don’t Schedule Other Vaccines
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend to receive different vaccines around the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine. For example, don’t book a flu shot a few days after or before your COVID-19 shot. There isn’t enough research to determine the potential interactions with multiple vaccines. The CDC suggests that if you want to get another vaccine like the flu shot, leave at least two to three weeks between vaccine appointments. You also should not book a flu vaccine between your two coronavirus vaccine shots.
Don’t Get A Tattoo
We know it’s tempting to have more needles jabbed in your body after that initial injection, but don’t do it. The skin is the body’s protective barrier against pathogens or foreign objects. It can trigger immune responses as a result of these encounters. If you get a piercing or tattoo, the skin can trigger these immune responses, which may turn out poorly if you just received the COVID-19 vaccine. There’s no guarantee that this will happen, but experts don’t know enough about it. It’s possible that a tattoo or piercing could trigger an adverse immune response.
Don’t Mix Vaccines
This is not the same point we made earlier. If you decide to get a COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC strongly encourages people to pay attention to the vaccine they receive. The current vaccines are Pfizer and Moderna, which involve two doses, and the Johnson & Johnson, which only requires a single shot. If you opt for either the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccine, it’s imperative to receive the same vaccine for the first and second dose. Don’t get a Pfizer shot and a Moderna shot a month later. Stick to the same vaccine to ensure optimum efficacy.