Many Filipinos are getting vaccinated for COVID-19
, and experiencing side effects becomes a concern. Long before, many health experts have stated that side effects are common for vaccines—mostly experienced within the day or the next two days after getting the vaccine. The side effects may be shown after the first dose, but experts noted that they might be more intense after the second dose. But these are normal since side-effects are indicators that your body is building resistance and protection from the virus.
Common side effects for all vaccines include the following:
• Pain, swelling, itchiness, and redness of the vaccinated area.
• Chills and fevers
• Nausea and/or vomiting
• Muscle pain or joint soreness
Medications and remedies for symptoms
In a post by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they noted helpful tips to relieve common symptoms. Taking over-the-counter medicines for pain and discomforts like aspirin, ibuprofen, antihistamines, and acetaminophen can alleviate side effects. However, these medicines won’t lessen side effects when taken before vaccination. It is also not recommended for those who have other medical reasons.
For arm pain, apply a cool and clean wet washcloth all over the area to reduce discomfort. If bearable, exercising your arm will help in diminishing pain. As for fever, it helps to drink plenty of water and wear clothing made with light fabrics. Consult a doctor for medicines to take—especially for individuals with health problems. For tiredness, make sure to get plenty of rest and sleep.
When to seek medical attention
Aside from the mild symptoms, some need the attention of healthcare providers. Specific vaccines also tend to have other reactions. It’s best to monitor symptoms between 4 to 28 days since getting vaccinated. Some of the serious symptoms to watch out for are the following:
• Severe allergic reactions like hives, swelling of throat, face, and tongue. Also, watch out for difficulty in breathing
• Severe swelling of arm or leg that results in color change
• Severe headaches that persist
• Chest pains
• Severe abdominal pain
• Abnormal skin bruising that are reddish or purple
• Blurry vision that doesn’t go away
• Difficulty speaking
In case of these reactions, immediately go to the nearest hospital.
Things to remember
Do not panic when you experience common vaccine side effects. The symptoms might be similar to COVID-19, but vaccines will not give you COVID-19. However, symptoms like runny nose, cough, and sore throat are not vaccine side effects. It might be symptoms of the coronavirus.
Since vaccines take two to three weeks to immunize your body fully, you can still get COVID-19 during these times when exposed to infected individuals. Once you experience COVID-19 symptoms, immediately isolate yourself from other people in your household. However, if these symptoms disappear within 48 hours, you don’t have to keep isolating. If symptoms persist, get tested for the coronavirus.
Even when vaccinated, remember to follow standard health protocols like wearing face masks and social distancing. Always wash your hands and avoid crowded places.
All details and information in this article are true and accurate as of the publication date. However, while we are making our utmost effort to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the condition surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be unpredictable, and the situation develops rapidly. Hence, some information and recommendations may have changed since this article was published. For the latest advice, visit DOH and your LGU's official websites.
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