Medical experts say that people should avoid taking painkillers before and after the COVID-19 vaccine, to give it the best chance of stimulating the immune system.
According to them, you can expect some after-effects after vaccination like fever, chills, or headache.
They, however, say medications like these may be taken after you’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine and if you are experiencing symptoms.
Speaking with PUNCH HealthWise, a Professor of Public Health and former National Chairman of the Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria, Prof. Tanimola Akande, said there is no point taking drugs unnecessarily if there is no indication.
“No need taking drugs unnecessarily. The temptation to take it in anticipation of the side effect of pain should be avoided.
“If there is pain post-vaccination, then analgesics may be indicated,” he said.
Also, a virology lecturer at the Department of Virology, University of Ibadan, Dr. Olusola Babatunde, said taking painkillers might interfere with the process of developing an immune-system response.
Babatunde said, “When people are vaccinated the initial time, they will have a fever, which are signs of inflammation when the body is trying to recognise or being primed towards the vaccine. So, in the context, using a painkiller might interfere with the entire process.
“There are certain things that are side effects and there are certain things that are the adverse effects of the vaccine. So, if there are side effects, it’s fine; but by the time you are beginning to have adverse effects and adverse reactions, then the person will have to seek medical attention.
“Basically, you will have a fever when you take the vaccine, which shows that the body is responding to the vaccine and it should not be severe, it should be mild; but if there are adverse effects, then the person will have to seek medical attention.”
According to the U.S Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19 but you may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection.
“These side effects may feel like flu and may even affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days,” the national public health institute in the United States said.
CDC said the common side effects on the arm where you got the shot are pain and swelling while the side effect throughout the rest of the body is fever, tiredness, chill, and headache.
“If you have pain or discomfort, talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
“In most cases, discomfort from fever or pain is normal. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider if the redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours; if your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days,” it said.
The CDC added that “To reduce pain and discomfort where you got the shot, apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area, use or exercise your arm.
“To reduce discomfort from fever drink plenty of fluids and dress lightly.”
In a report by FOX Carolina, the Chief Medical Officer of Bon Secours St. Francis, Dr. Surabhi Gaur said “I think what the CDC is asking is that you push the limit a little bit on yourself just so you can maximise your immune response.
“Again, you won’t negate all the effects of the vaccine just by taking a pill before or after, but the longer you can avoid it the better off you will be.”
While the COVID-19 vaccine is a new development, Dr. Gaur says it’s similar to other vaccines in how it was created.
“The way this vaccine was developed, the core scientific principles surrounding the development of this vaccine. That’s not entirely new, and that’s not entirely out of left field and that’s not entirely unstudied,” she explained.
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