Dos and don'ts when preparing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine

COVID-19 vaccine
Posted at 3:00 PM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-23 12:48:03-05

(WXYZ) — As more Michigan residents line up to get vaccinated for COVID-19, many are asking what they should or should not do before getting their shots.

Chief Health Editor Dr. Partha Nandi is sharing some dos and don'ts when it comes to the vaccine:

Now, most people know that they might experience side effects. I actually had some fatigue and fever after my second shot. Which only lasted for a couple of hours. But everyone is different and for some people, it may take a few days for the effects to go away.

So what I suggest - especially for the folks that work - is to schedule some downtime or have a backup plan in place in case they feel a bit crummy. Now, other important things people should do include:

- Telling vaccine staff about past allergic reactions or allergies before getting the shot
- Planning to wait between 15 and 30 minutes after receiving the shot – in case of a rare allergic reaction
- Schedule your second dose either 3 weeks or 4 weeks later depending on which vaccine you got
- Also, plan to exercise your arm and use a cool wet washcloth over the injection site to help with pain or discomfort
- And lastly, do drink plenty of fluids especially if you develop a fever

Please do not take ibuprofen, aspirin, antihistamines, or acetaminophen before you get vaccinated. Now I know folks want to try and get ahead of any potential side effects. But we do not yet know if these types of medications will affect how well the vaccine works. However, you can take pain relievers after your shots, if you really need to. But I would wait and see first.

Please do not:

- Get other vaccines within 14 days of getting the COVID vaccine
- Do not skip the second dose, unless you experienced a rare allergic reaction to the first shot
- Try not to schedule your second dose earlier than the recommended 3 or 4-week interval
- And, do not toss out your mask or ditch any of the pandemic precautions – these are still important to follow

Being fully vaccinated does not guarantee that a person will not get infected. Nor does it guarantee that it’ll stop a vaccinated person who is infected from spreading the virus. So, let’s say for example that you are visiting with loved ones and you’re the only one vaccinated. Then you still need to wear a mask and social distance to protect the others. But, if everyone has been fully vaccinated, you could form an immunity bubble. And not wear masks and not social distance. Just be aware that while the risk is lower, it hasn’t 100% disappeared.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.