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As you take the Covid-19 vaccine, some dos and don’ts

Health Ministry has clarified earlier that COVID vaccine was introduced only when the safety was proven. As is true for other vaccines, the common side effects
in some individuals could be mild fever, pain, etc. at the site of injection. 

Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Serum Institute of India’s Covishield are the two vaccines being administered in India. When lakhs and ultimately crores are being vaccinated, experts opine that a small number of cases of adverse reactions in patients may likely occur. But these ought not to dissuade people from taking the anti-COVID shot.

Here is a list of Dos and Don'ts to follow before and after getting vaccinated.


Talk to your GP. Understand how the vaccine works.

In case you have allergies to any medication, or drugs, it is important to get an all-clear from your family doctor or medical practitioner.

Your doctor may order some routine examinations. A complete blood count (CBC), C-reactive protein (CRP), or Immunoglobulin-E (IgE) are likely to be advised before the doctors says you can go ahead with the vaccination.

Eat a light meal before leaving home. You may not be able to have anything immediately after, at least for a few minutes.

Relax. Its like any other vaccination drive. Stay positive and cautious. If you are feeling anxious, a health counsellor can help you cope.

Wear light, comfortable clothes. In all probability, you will be sitting while being given the shot in your arm.

Go to the vaccination centre with a proper mask covering your mouth and nose, and stay at least six feet away from others until it is your turn to take the shot.


Do not hide any ailments/conditions or allergies from your certifying doctor who gives you the go-ahead for the vaccination.

Do not consume alcohol or any substance before being vaccinated, nor during and after.

While at the vaccination centre, don't touch items or other patients around the place. Basically, maintain regular COVID-19-appropriate protocol.

Do not self-medicate: Do not listen to any 'friendly' advice to take any Over-The-Counter drugs like acetaminophen or ibuprofen - painkillers etc - in anticipation of potentially having side effects from the vaccine. Your doctor knows best. Consult the expert. 

Watch out:

These are the commonly reported side effects after vaccination:

Pain at the injection site

Swelling in the arm where you got your shot





Should you see a doctor?

In general, the side effects — if any — should go away in a day or two. in normal cases the redness or tenderness where you got the injection, begins to subside after 24 hours - but if the opposite happens, or if your side effects are worrying you or don't seem to be going away after a few days, do talk to your doctor. 

Do not panic. Your doctor should be able to assuage your fears.

Unless your doctor has advised you to the contrary, drinks lots of water.

A vaccine does not immediate make you immune to the disease. It takes time - a few days after your second shot - to awaken your immune system. Therefore, basic precautionary measures must be followed even after vaccination. Face masks, hand hygiene, and physical distancing in public places must not be abandoned just because a vaccine has been taken. COVID-19-appropriate protocol such as covering your face when coughing/sneezing etiquette also needs to be followed.


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