What Is A Vaccine
Most vaccines are made from small amounts of a weak or dead agent that resembles a disease-causing germ, bacteria or virus. The amount and strength of the disease within a vaccine is so small that it wont give you the disease. Instead, it will build your immunity against the disease, Hepfer said. Unlike most medicines, a vaccine does not treat or cure, but actually prevents illness by stimulating your immune system to produce antibodies against the disease or illness.
Although there are also new emerging vaccine technologies, all vaccines serve the same purpose: to get your bodys immune system familiar with that disease so it can build a defense and keep you healthy.
You Should Also Talk To Your Doctor If You Feel Worried About Your Side Effects
The CDC acknowledges that the side effects that can arise after your COVID vaccination might “affect your ability to do daily activities,” but they should only last for a few days. However, if your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away on their own, the CDC says you should reach out to a doctor or healthcare provider. You should also contact a medical professional “if the redness or tenderness where you got the shot gets worse after 24 hours,” per the CDC’s guidelines. And for more on vaccine reactions, If This Happens After Your Vaccine, the FDA Says You Should Call 911.
Take An Otc Pain Reliever
Talk with your doctor or healthcare professional about whether its safe for you to use over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin, acetaminophen , or ibuprofen .
When its safe to do so, the CDC says that people over the age of 18 can use OTC pain relievers to reduce discomfort in the arm and treat vaccine side effects like muscle pain and headaches. These medications also help lower fevers.
Always talk with your childs doctor before giving them any new medications.
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What You Need To Know
- COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
- Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history.
- CDC recommends you get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.
- CDC recommends that people who are starting their vaccine series or getting a booster dose get either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna . The mRNA vaccines are preferred over Johnson & Johnsons Janssen COVID-19 vaccine in most circumstances.
Common Side Effects Of Covid
Like any vaccine, COVID-19 vaccines can cause side effects, most of which are mild or moderate and go away within a few days on their own. As shown in the results of clinical trials, more serious or long-lasting side effects are possible. Vaccines are continually monitored to detect adverse events.
Reported side effects of COVID-19 vaccines have mostly been mild to moderate and have lasted no longer thana few days. Typical side effects include pain at the injection site, fever, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills and diarrhoea. The chances of any of these side effects occurring after vaccination differ according to the specific vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccines protect against the SARS-CoV-2 virus only, so its still important to keep yourself healthy and well.
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Why Painkillers Are Not Recommended During Covid
Experts say painkillers are best to be avoided while you are undergoing coronavirus treatment. But, why so? Well, certain painkillers that target inflammation, including ibuprofen might curb the immune response. A study on mice in the Journal of Virology found these drugs might lower the production of antibodies helpful substances that block the virus from infecting cells.
If My Child Has A Lower Risk For Getting Covid
- You should get your child vaccinated as soon as vaccines are available to them.
- Getting your child vaccinated provides the best protection against serious illness if your child gets infected with COVID-19.
- Since there is no way to tell in advance how your child will be affected by COVID-19even healthy children can get very sickit is important to get them vaccinated as soon as possible to protect them against severe COVID-19.
- To find COVID-19 vaccination locations in your area, talk to a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, call the local health department or clinic, or visit vaccines.gov.
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If You Received A Booster Shot
So far, reactions reported after getting a booster shot were similar to those after the two-dose or single-dose primary series. Fever, headache, fatigue and pain at the injection site were the most commonly reported side effects, and overall, most side effects were mild to moderate. However, as with the two-dose or single-dose primary series, serious side effects are rare, but may occur.
How Were The Vaccines Developed So Quickly
- mRNA vaccines are newly available to the public, but researchers have been studying and working with mRNA vaccines for decades.
- Any COVID-19 vaccine that is approved and available for children goes through the same approval process that is required for other vaccines, including routine childhood vaccines.
- Before recommending COVID-19 vaccination for children, scientists conducted clinical trials with thousands of children to ensure that the vaccines are safe and effective.
- None of the clinical trial steps were skipped, and no corners were cut, in determining the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for children.
- CDC monitors all COVID-19 vaccines after they are authorized or approved for use.
Additional information to share with parents: Developing COVID-19 Vaccines .
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Acetaminophens Effects On Vaccines
No one enjoys getting vaccines, but most of us do it anyway. Vaccines are important for keeping yourself, your children and those around you healthy, said Katie Hepfer, DNP, C-PNP, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A& M College of Nursing. Most health care providers know immunization schedules can be overwhelming to parents of young children. However, it is important to keep yourself and your children up-to-date on vaccinations.
That advice leaves many parentsand even adults going to get the shot for themselveswondering if there is a way to make it easier.
Can My Medications Affect The Covid
It is likely that some medications, especially steroids and anti-inflammatory medications, can affect your response to the vaccine. These medications might make the vaccine less effective for you.
The effect of medications on vaccines has been studied a great deal in children. In particular, researchers have looked into whether giving a child a fever-reducing medicine, like acetaminophen , right before they get their regular shots will make these shots less effective. For this particular situation, researchers found that the kids whod taken acetaminophen before their shot had a lower immune reaction measured in their blood work than the kids who hadnt. However, the vaccines still worked well enough to protect them in the real world.
For the COVID-19 vaccines, it seems likely that the same thing will happen. In other words, the vaccines effect will probably be slightly less in people who are taking anti-inflammatory or immunosuppressant medications than it will be in those who arent taking these medications. But especially for people who need to take these medicines, some immunity against COVID-19 is better than none.
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The Cdc Recommends That You Avoid Otc Medications Right Before Vaccination
While the CDC says post-vaccination OTC medication is fine with a doctor’s approval, the agency says it is “not recommended you take these medicines before vaccination for the purpose of trying to prevent side effects.” It is not yet known how these drugs could affect your vaccination response.
“There are a couple of small studies in children having to do with regular vaccinesânot COVID vaccinesâ that might indicate that taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen before you get the vaccine might reduce your antibody response a little,” William Schaffner, MD, an infectious disease specialist and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, explained to Prevention. “But nobody really knows whether this has any clinical significance and it’s never been studied on a clinical scale.” And for more up-to-date information, .
Talk To Your Doctor About Which Otc Medication Is Best For You
The CDC says you should “talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, or antihistamines, for any pain and discomfort you may experience after getting vaccinated.”
And you should also talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about your side effects, like “if the redness or tenderness where you got the shot gets worse after 24 hours” or “if your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days.”
And for more on what not to do after you’ve been vaccinated, check out Don’t Do This for 2 Days After Your COVID Vaccine, Doctors Say.
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Kids And Tylenol Studies
In the first study, from 2009, researchers looked at how Tylenol affected the immune systems of infants receiving their childhood vaccines. Some children were given Tylenol before getting their shots, while others were not. When the children had their antibodies tested antibodies are the proteins in our blood that help us develop long-lasting immunity those who were given Tylenol beforehand had lower antibody levels.
The same researchers released a follow-up study in 2013. They followed these children until they finished receiving all of the necessary boosters for their vaccines. The same children continued to take or not take Tylenol before each of their booster shots, just as they had before. This time, though, researchers found that the antibody levels were similar for all children regardless of whether they took Tylenol. In other words, they all developed long-term immunity from the vaccines.
Q: What About Taking A Pain Reliever After The Shot
Its OK to treat side effects with a pain reliever, said Dr. Offit, but if you dont really need one, dont take it.
While most experts agree its safe to take a pain reliever to relieve discomfort after you get vaccinated, they advise against taking it after the shot as a preventive or if your symptoms are manageable without it. The concern with taking an unnecessary pain reliever is that it could blunt some of the effects of the vaccine.
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How To Stay Safe Before And After Vaccination
Follow Fauci’s fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you livewear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don’t travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don’t go indoors with people you’re not sheltering with , practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.
Eat This, Not That!
Cdc Gives Guidance On Motrin And Tylenol With Covid
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning people to hold off on taking Tylenol or Motrin before getting a COVID-19 vaccination.
Sometimes, people will take pain medication in anticipation of discomfort before an injection, but that is not recommended for the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the CDC.
Researchers say they dont have the information right now on the impact of those medications on the COVID-19 vaccine-induced antibody response.
Also, antihistamines are not recommended prior to getting the vaccine. Doctors say antihistamines do not prevent a reaction and could mask a problem.
NSAIDs may be taken after the vaccine is administered, according to the CDC.
Also, the COVID-19 vaccine should not be taken at the same time as any other vaccine. Health officials say you should wait at least 14 days after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine to get any other immunizations.
COVID-19 and other vaccines may be administered within a shorter period of time in situations where the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks.
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Should You Take Otc Medications Before Getting The Vaccine
Taking OTC pain medications ahead of your shot to try and decrease symptoms is not recommended by the CDC, because it’s not clear how that could affect the vaccine’s effectiveness.
The concern is that pre-treating with pain medications that reduce fevers and inflammation could dampen your immune system’s response to the vaccine.
That’s because your immune system responds to vaccines through a process called “controlled inflammation,” Dr. Colleen Kelley, an associate professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, told USA Today in January.
Covid messenger RNA vaccines work by giving cells genetic material that tells them how to make a non-infectious piece of the virus. The immune system then creates antibodies against it which is controlled inflammation and can remember how to trigger an immune response if exposed to the virus in the future.
But OTC pain-relieving medications “reduce the production of inflammatory mediators,” Kelley said. That’s why it’s important to wait until after you’ve gotten the vaccine to take pain medication.
Research on children has shown that those who take acetaminophen before getting vaccines have a lower immune response than those who didn’t. And a recent study out of Yale found that giving mice nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs before being exposed to SARS-CoV-2 led to fewer protective antibodies from the virus.
Can You Take Ibuprofen If You Have Covid
Studies in Michigan, Denmark, Italy, and Israel, as well as a multi-center international study, found no link between taking NSAIDs and a worse outcome from COVID-19 when compared with acetaminophen or taking nothing. So, if you are taking NSAIDs regularly, you can continue to take your usual dose.
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Does Acetaminophen Impact The Immune Response
Often, people elect to take an over-the-counter pain reliever, or give one to their children, prior to vaccines to help with the side effects. Remember a vaccination can cause injection site soreness and elevated temperature afterwards, Hepfer said. Acetaminophen can both relieve pain and reduce fever, but always speak with your pediatrician first to review dosage.
The discussion about acetaminophens impact on immunity comes with the fever-reducing effect. Typically, fevers are a sign your body is working to kill a virus. As a result, many people worry an over-the-counter drug that reduces fevers will impact how well your body fights the viral agents from a vaccine.
Hepfer said the jury is still out on this. While the administration of acetaminophen has been commonplace after childhood immunizations for fever and/or pain at the injection site, several newer studies question whether acetaminophen makes vaccines slightly less effective, Hepfer said. While acetaminophen is not contraindicated, the American Academy of Pediatrics notes that some pediatricians are no longer recommending it for prophylactic use against vaccine side effects.
Can Taking Otc Pain Relievers Before Getting The Covid
This is another question we dont have a definite answer to yet. Past vaccine research is a little confusing as there are studies that have very different results.
One study from 1998 looked at children who were receiving their childhood vaccinations. Some of the children were given Tylenol before their shots, while others were not. The researchers found no difference in the amount of side effects either group of children experienced.
However, another study from 2014 found that when children took Tylenol or Advil before their childhood vaccines, they had less discomfort afterward. While both medications helped prevent pain, Tylenol worked better for fever. They also helped more often with the childrens first shots than their booster shots. The research also suggests that antibodies can still potentially be less responsive to vaccine antigens, but the clinical significance isnt fully known.
Since these studies seem to have opposite answers, we would need more research to say whether taking Tylenol or Advil would definitely help prevent vaccine side effects. Its also important to keep in mind that these studies only looked at children. We have limited research on whether OTC pain relievers and fever reducers would help adults avoid vaccine discomfort.
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Q: Ive Heard The Covid Vaccine Side Effects Especially After The Second Dose Can Be Really Bad Should I Be Worried
Short-lived side effects like fatigue, headache, muscle aches and fever are more common after the second dose of both the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna vaccines, which each require two shots. Patients who experience unpleasant side effects after the second dose often describe feeling as if they have a bad flu and use phrases like it flattened me or I was useless for two days. During vaccine studies, patients were advised to schedule a few days off work after the second dose just in case they needed to spend a day or two in bed.
Data collected from v-safe, the smartphone-based tool everyone is encouraged to use to track side effects after vaccination, also show an increase in reported side effects after the second dose. For instance, about 29 percent of people reported fatigue after the first Pfizer-BioNTech shot, but that jumped to 50 percent after the second dose. Muscle pain rose from 17 percent after the first shot to 42 percent after the second. While only about 7 percent of people got chills and fever after the first dose, that increased to about 26 percent after the second dose.
The New York Times interviewed several dozen of the newly vaccinated in the days afterward. They recounted a wide spectrum of responses, from no reaction at all to symptoms like uncontrolled shivering and brain fog. While these experiences arent pleasant, they are a sign that your own immune system is mounting a potent response to the vaccine.