A sore injection site, pain in the injected arm, mild fever, moderate fatigue, headaches, chills, and even diarrhoea are symptoms commonly seen after administration of the Covid-19 vaccine. While one may have taken the right step towards protection from the virus, doctors say the post-vaccination symptoms can be managed at home.
According to Sujeet Ranjan, Executive Director of The Coalition for Food and Nutrition Security (CFNS), after vaccination, staying on site for monitoring is crucial. The healthcare provider should observe you for about 30 minutes after the vaccine is administered to make sure there are no immediate reactions. However, it is extremely rare to have severe health reactions.
"Vaccines are designed to give immunity without the dangers of getting the disease. While it's normal to build immunity without side effects, it is also common to experience some mild-to-moderate side effects that go away within a few days on their own," Ranjan told IANSlife.
Tejaswini Deepak, Physician, Apollo Spectra Hospital, Koramangala, Bengaluru, says that getting vaccinated does not guarantee full immunity against the virus but it is a wise decision to get the dose to move towards a collective fight against this pandemic. The vaccine has mild side effects depending on the body of an individual and these symptoms can be easily managed at home.
"Fatigue, headache and body weakness are a few ailments that can be noticed post the vaccination. Adequate water intake is important to stay hydrated. Alongside proper sleep, a balanced diet, less strenuous exercise and low intake of caffeine is recommended. A paracetamol tablet can be taken to reduce the body pain," says the physician.
"The pain at the local injection site usually resolves within one day, while fever and body ache resolve in 2-3 days. First of all, you should not worry about the side effects and be completely relaxed as these are minor side effects. For pain at the injection site, you can keep a wet cloth (cool) or if necessary some medicines to reduce pain. For fever, you should take antipyretics (medicines to reduce fever) and keep yourself hydrated. You are also advised rest, in case of fever.
"You should avoid googling about side effects and try to manage it by yourself. We have seen that people panic after reading up on the internet and this leads to irrational and harmful practices. Better to consult a physician. If you have any other side effect, or if the pain persists beyond one day or the fever persists beyond 2-3 days, you need to consult a physician," said Khan Amir Maroof, Professor, Department of Community Medicine, University College of Medical Sciences and GTB Hospital, Delhi.
Keeping a clean wet cloth on the vaccinated arm helps to reduce the pain, swelling and the redness. It also helps to keep the infections at bay, say doctors.
Navneet Kaur, General Physician, Apollo Spectra Nehru Enclave, New Delhi suggests: "Eat anti-inflammatory foods like strawberries, cherries, oranges, mackerel, green vegetables, and nuts after vaccination. Limit your intake of processed and junk food. Remember that a healthy diet will reduce inflammation and strengthen your immune system. Moreover, you will have to get a good night's sleep and avoid exertion."
Maroof adds: It takes around two weeks after the second dose for the immunity to develop. Also, the vaccine is not 100 per cent effective and so there are some chances of infection (known as breakthrough infection) even after being vaccinated.
While opinions on post-vaccine alcohol consumption vary, many doctors are advising a distance from liquor and smoking. Needless to say, compulsory wearing of masks, continuous washing of hands and maintaining social distancing should still be followed. These side effects should not discourage you from taking the second dose.