As India is in the midst of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for the vaccination drive to happen in full swing for those above 18 years of age as well is necessary. The new strains of the virus have proven to have high mortality rates for the younger generations as well, yet again reiterating the necessity of vaccinations. If vaccines are available in a healthcare centre near you and you’re eligible for it, it’s prudent to get both doses done within the prescribed time frame. With only 3% of its population vaccinated so far, India’s on a journey to getting better – and this is what we have to help with.
With more and more people getting vaccinated everyday, it’s important to look at the dos and don’ts after getting the COVID-19 vaccination. To help with that, this blog will focus on precautions after taking the COVID vaccine. It is mandatory to take some precautions after COVID vaccination to help cope with its effects better. Some people face some after-effects post their vaccination and might be concerned if these are causes for worry, or just side or after-effects from the vaccine. We, at SPARSH Hospital, encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as they can and so, we are here to clear out some of the doubts and dos and don’ts about the vaccination, to make this process a smoother and more trusted one for everyone.
Don’t Be Afraid of the After-effects of the COVID Vaccination
It is commonly observed that after getting vaccinated, people experience mild fever, bodyache, chills and fatigue – if not all of these, then some. Some feel unpleasant and dizzy post-vaccination, or even a strong pain in their arm post the vaccination. However, what experts have consistently said is, “Don’t worry about the after-effects of the COVID vaccination.” These effects on your body are not a problem, but rather signs that your body is naturally reacting to the vaccine which is crucial for it to work properly. Don’t term it as side-effects, but these are mere after-effects.
A key tip to follow is to not be harsh on your body or force it to work directly after getting vaccinated. You should take some precautions after taking COVID vaccination like taking a day off, sleeping for several hours, and taking Paracetamol if advised by the doctor. Staying hydrated is the foremost recommendation or precaution after COVID vaccination.
Don’t do Strenuous Activities Within the First 24 Hours
This advice is subjective to different people. It all depends on how your body is handling the after-effects of COVID vaccination. If you’re feeling constant muscle aches, fatigue or weakness, abstain from heavy workout and exercises. Listen to your body and its signals. Get enough sleep as required and take precautions to recover quickly from the effects of the COVID vaccine. Your immune system needs to rest as much as possible so it can extract and make use of the benefits of the vaccine. If you don’t feel any soreness in your muscles or sloppiness, then a short walk and light exercise is permissible. All in all, try to relax and do minimal physical activity so your body can focus on passing around the effects of the vaccine.
A tip here is to start out with light exercise after 24 hours of the COVID-19 vaccination, to make the blood and energy flow properly. Once you start exercising, you might not feel any difference but some people may notice a sluggish behaviour, like their body is not as proactive as before. This is completely normal for a few days since your body is actively working on building your immune system against the virus. Taking it slow and eventually working back to your normal routine can help.
Have an Adequate Time Gap Between Both Doses of the COVID Vaccination
For Covishield and Covaxin, the two vaccines available in India, two doses are required for each to be fully vaccinated. Both vaccines have different recommended time gaps between both doses, to ensure that the vaccine works with maximum efficacy. After getting the first dose, your body needs time to get familiarized with the vaccine which can take weeks. Hence it is advisable to book a slot for the second dose after at least 4 weeks for Covaxin and 6 weeks for Covishield. Some experts recommend a longer wait, but it’s always best to consult a doctor at your healthcare centre of choice to be sure. Consider this one of the precautions after taking COVID vaccine, or at least its first dose, and mark your calendars for the same.
Wear Masks Even After Getting Vaccinated
The foremost and essential precaution after taking COVID vaccine is to continue wearing masks after both doses. In fact, double mask protection is still recommended. Although the vaccine does curb your chances of getting the COVID-19 vaccine and reduce the impact of the virus if you get it, it does not make you 100% immune – and it certainly does not make those who have not been vaccinated any less at risk either. You can still experience the symptoms and contract the virus, but getting a vaccine ensures that the virus does not impact your body in a life-threatening or major way.
An important point to remember is that cotton masks or cloth masks are not effective in eliminating the virus’ spread. N95 masks and surgical masks are the best bet against protecting yourself and others from getting the virus – wearing the recommended mask can help curb the spread further.
Do Not Consume Alcohol After Taking the COVID-19 Vaccine
Experts advise not consuming alcohol until a few days after your first vaccination shot or preferably, until both doses are complete. It is advisable to wait for a week or two before consuming alcohol in order to give time to the body to work up the effects of the COVID vaccination, if not the whole period. The effects of the vaccination can be strong on your body, especially the second dose. Aside from the usual symptoms like fatigue, fever, dizziness and muscle ache as after-effects of the vaccine, added effects from alcohol would only add more stress on your body which can be tedious for you. This can also be noted as a precaution after COVID vaccination.
It is crucial now more than ever to listen to your body and take more care of it than you usually would. If you feel like doing nothing and just laying on your bed, do it. The times are challenging, so don’t challenge yourself. The mantra for living a safer life in these scenarios is, wear masks, practice social distancing, and stay hopeful although the times are really testing. We, at SPARSH Hospital, are doing all we can to help patients recover from COVID. Our nurses and support staff are encouraging and supporting our patients as much as possible.
Doctors at SPARSH Hospital urge you to follow the protocols, procedures recommended and precautions to ensure the safeguarding of you and your family. The frontline warriors are battling everyday for the safety of this nation. Let’s all keep our hopes up for the betterment of our country and its people. We are in this together and we will fight this battle bravely and smartly, and one day we can all see each other’s smiles under the masks again.
Until then, stay safe, wear a mask, sanitise regularly, and get vaccinated if you can.