COVID-19 Vaccine Tips from TMSA's Nurse Jackson

I just wanted to share some information on things you can do to help pre/post vaccination. See below.

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. Try to get vaccinated on the weekend so that you can rest the next day. Make sure you get rest the following day.

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 right after getting vaccinated. ( I recommend Zyrtec or Claritin due to the severe drowsiness Benadryl tends to cause). Just FYI taking an antihistamine prior is not recommended because it may mask an anaphylaxis reaction to the vaccine.

Prime your immune system: Others say having the healthiest immune system possible before getting vaccinated is crucial, and that taking the right mix of vitamins and minerals can help strengthen it. Prompted by the COVID pandemic, a Boston based company is marketing Vacci-Prep, a mix of vitamins C, A, and D3, along with zinc, selenium, amino acids, and probiotics. “We recommend starting it 7 days before the vaccine and 7 days after,” says Martin Floreani, president and CEO of Dentovations, the company making the new drug
combination, which is expected to be available online in mid-February. He acknowledges no research exists to verify it can increase the immune response to the COVID vaccines, but he says the list of vitamins and minerals was chosen based on other research suggesting the supplements helped immune response with
other vaccinations.

Don’t exercise strenuously before the jab: Until more is known, Kaplan advises avoiding vigorous exercise 2 hours before and after the vaccination. She also advises avoiding hot showers 2 hours before and after, as exercise and vigorous showers can trigger allergic reactions in some people. The COVID-19 vaccine does not contain eggs, preservatives or latex. But if you’ve experienced an immediate allergic reaction to any vaccine – even if not severe – talk to your primary care provider before getting vaccinated against COVID-19. And consider
having an epinephrine pen available in case of anaphylaxis.

Maximizing Immunity
Unless your provider recommends otherwise, it’s critical that you keep your appointment for the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine – even if you experienced side effects following your first dose. Receiving the second dose is the only way the vaccine’s efficacy can be ensured – and the only way you can maximize your immunity to COVID19.

By the time you receive the second dose, your body will already have some of the antibodies it needs and is able to respond more quickly. This could help explain why the second dose tends to be more intense for some people. But knowing what to expect and how to prepare can help keep you comfortable while giving you the peace of mind that you’re protecting not only yourself but also those around you.