Updated: Feb 3
Getting vaccinated protects you from serious illness and death due to COVID-19. During the initial 14 days following vaccination, one does not achieve significant protection. Effects of vaccines increase in a gradual manner. For vaccines requiring a single dose, one’s immunity takes up to two weeks following vaccination. For vaccines requiring two doses, both of the doses are required for achieving the highest levels of immunity.
Due to these reasons and also, due to individuals within a community who have not been vaccinated as yet, it is important to maintain various other preventive measures that are important especially in areas, where SARS CoV-2 infection is high. For the safety measures and continuous reduction of disease transmission after the vaccination coverage, one must continue to maintain a social distance of 1 meter in public gatherings, should cover nose and mouth while coughing or sneezing either by using a handkerchief or tissue or by using one’s elbow, there should be frequent washing of hands and one must constantly wear a mask, especially in spaces that are enclosed, crowded or poorly ventilated. One should constantly follow guidance from local authorities depending upon the local situation and level of risk wherever one is living.
Is social distancing still necessary after being vaccinated?
COVID-19 vaccine helps in the prevention of serious levels of illness along with death, one does not know the extent to when it will keep one safe from acquiring the viral infection and also in the prevention of transmission of this virus to other individuals. Also, the greater the relaxation in allowing this virus to undergo spread, the higher is the chances for this virus to undergo genetic mutation.
Thus, one must continuously take preventive actions for slowing or stopping the spread of this virus that includes maintaining a physical distance of 1 meter among other protective measures as mentioned in earlier paragraphs.
Do and Don’ts after COVID 19 vaccination
One must drink lots of water to stay hydrated both before and following vaccination. The most commonly seen side-effects following vaccination are pain or soreness in muscles, fatigue, headache, and/or fever. Thus, proper hydration helps in preventing one from getting sick but also, may help in shortening the duration as well as the intensity of vaccination side-effects.
One must eat well-balanced food for avoiding any serious side- effects. Inclusion of superfoods, for example, green vegetables, turmeric, and garlic that have higher levels of nutrients and also, help in boosting immunity. Additions of seasonal fruits that are rich in Vitamin C also help in counteracting any side effects of the vaccines.
One must take a minimum of 7 to 8 hours of sleep. After getting vaccinated, our body depends on immunological responses for developing protection. Hence, vaccinated people must take sleep for a minimum of 7 to 8 hours as deprivation of sleep can cause suppression of immunity since our body undergoes rebuilding of its defensive mechanisms when a person is sleeping. Thus, an absence of complete sleep may also cause the triggering of stress, which can cause further suppression of one's immunological system.
One must perform a few light exercises or engage in moderate levels of physical activity. Doing regular exercises increase the circulation of blood that helps in decreasing the side effects of vaccines. Hence, it has been recommended that one must do lesser strenuous exercises as compared to routine exercises. For example, one must go on walking.
It is important to take consultation from a physician before getting vaccinated if one has been prescribed corticosteroids or blood-thinning agents. Individuals who have been prescribed steroids and blood thinners must stop their medicines for up to two days both before and after receiving vaccines for preventing an adverse type of side-effects. If one experiences an episode of anaphylactic shock as a response to the vaccine, one must immediately inform the consulting physician and has to be careful.
One must continue following COVID-19 appropriate behavior even after receiving the vaccine. The most important things to follow post-vaccination are the continuation of wearing face masks, regular washing hands with soap and water or sanitization of one's hands with alcohol-based sanitizer, maintenance of appropriate physical distance, avoidance of crowded areas, and avoiding touching of any surface.
One should continuously apply clean, cool, wet cloth or ice over the site of vaccination for reducing any pain or discomfort. One must also perform mild levels of exercise or use one’s arm for performing the light type of activities for decreasing pain and/or discomfort.
Lactating mothers who have been vaccinated must continue to breastfeed. Antibodies that are produced following vaccination for COVID-19 must be passed to their babies via milk. These antibodies also help in providing immunity to infants or babies similar to any other vaccine that is injected during pregnancy. It is safe for pregnant females to undergo vaccination as per World Health Organization (WHO).
One should avoid the consumption of alcohol as well as tobacco after vaccination. Although there is no scientific evidence that can elaborate upon the effects of alcohol and tobacco smoking following vaccination, it has been advised to avoid tobacco and//or alcohol consumption as it aggravates and worsens side-effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, thus avoiding any unpleasant experience that can cause stress. Consumption of alcohol negatively affects the body's immunological system hence, there is a possibility that the resultant immune response to the effects of the vaccine may be reduced. The same may apply to the consumption of tobacco too.
One must remember that following vaccination, complete immunity against COVID-19 cannot be attained as none of the vaccines have demonstrated a 100% rate of success. One can contract COVID-19 even after vaccination though the infection shows mild symptoms and reduces hospitalization, death, or serious symptoms.
One must not postpone consultation with a doctor if any symptoms of COVID-19 are observed following vaccination as the development of immunity takes a few weeks after receiving the second dose. Any side- effects, for example, pain and discomfort in the arm or fatigue will usually subside within a few days. In case, there are serious side effects or symptoms that don’t subside, one must contact a physician.
One must avoid any excessive physical activities for a minimum of 2 to 3 days after receiving the vaccine.
One must not miss any other prescribed vaccines that have been recommended during the time frame. It has been advised to maintain an interval of a minimum of 28 days between subsequent COVID-19 or any other vaccinations. If the prescribed schedule cannot be changed, then a different site such as an arm or thigh must be used for injecting another vaccine (s).
What are the common side effects of the COVID 19 vaccine?
In most cases, it is normal to experience minor side effects. There are few commonly seen side-effects following vaccination that are indicative of developing immunity as a protective mechanism against COVID-19. These are soreness of the arm, Mild degree of fever, tired feeling, headache, muscle and/or joint ache. One can consult a physician if the symptoms worsen or take paracetamol in case there is a requirement after receiving the vaccine.
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