Feel free to take over the counter painkillers if you experience body aches or pain in your arm, however.
Don’t avoid alcohol
“I haven’t seen any recommendations or reasons why you wouldn’t be able to have a glass of wine or beer or whatever the evening after you have your vaccine,” Deborah Fuller, a microbiologist at the University of Washington School of Medicine who is working on coronavirus vaccines, told HuffPost.
However, alcohol won’t help if you’re having side effects, Thomas Russo, chief of the infectious disease division at the University at Buffalo in New York, told HuffPost. “Probably if you’re having systemic symptoms, it would be prudent to go ahead and pass on alcohol,” he said.
Don’t get a tattoo or piercing right after
If you plan to commemorate your shot by getting a tattoo or a piercing, you might want to wait a few weeks after your vaccination.
“The biggest issue lies in the similar side effects vaccines and tattoos have,” Devon Abelman wrote for Allure. “Both can cause arm soreness, pain, and redness.”
Michael Chang, a professor of pediatric infectious diseases at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth in Houston, and Sunitha Posina, a board-certified physician in internal medicine in Stony Brook, New York, told Abelman you should not only avoid getting a tattoo on the same arm as your injection, but also avoid getting them around the same time.
Both situations can cause fatigue or a low-grade fever within 48 hours. “A local infection after tattoo may need antibiotic therapy, and you don’t want to blow it off and blame the vaccine,” Chang told Abelman.
The same applies to piercings, which sometimes get infected.
Don’t get other vaccines
Don’t plan to get all your vaccinations at the same time to save trips.
“Given the lack of data on the safety and efficacy of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines administered simultaneously with other vaccines, the vaccine series should be administered alone with a minimum interval of 14 days before or after administration with any other vaccines,” the CDC states on its website.
However, Fuller told HuffPost, “I would say if you have an emergency vaccination, like, for example, you step on a nail and you’ve got to go get your tetanus shot, well, don’t wait for that.”
Don’t exercise if you don’t feel well
If you feel tired or feverish after your vaccination, you shouldn’t feel like you have to keep up your exercise routine. Although Fuller said exercise should be fine, Russo recommends listening to your body.
If you’re feeling great, go for it,” Russo said. And if you’re feeling unwell after the vaccine, “you might want to take the day off,” he told HuffPost.
It’s always good to drink plenty of liquids, and the CDC recommends you drink water after your vaccination.
It’s common to lose more fluids than normal when you’re sick, from vomiting, diarrhea or sweating caused by a fever, Dr. Anar Shah, an emergency medicine doctor at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, told Health.com. “On top of that, your metabolism may be sped up and your body’s at an increased level of activity,” she said. “You may require additional hydration to keep your fluid levels balanced.”
Don’t lose your vaccine card
The CDC recommends you keep your vaccination card in case you need it later. “Consider taking a picture of your vaccination card as a backup copy,” it states on its website.
Office Depot and OfficeMax and Staples will even laminate the card for free for you, once you’ve received your second shot.