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What to do Before, During, and After Getting Your COVID Vaccine

Monday, May 03, 2021 8:12 AM

By: Lauren McRae

NorthShore is in phase 2 and administering the COVID-19 vaccine as quickly as we receive it. If you are scheduling a vaccine for you or a loved one, read the information below offered by Ewa Schafer, M.D.Adult Allergy & Asthma, Pediatric Allergy & Asthma:

Getting Your COVID Vaccine

Before Your Appointment

  • An ID is Not Required: Why? Everyone living in the U.S., regardless of status, has the right to receive the COVID vaccine.
  • Avoid Taking Steroids: A week (or more) before vaccination, avoid medications that can suppress your immune system such as oral steroids. Oral steroids may block your body's response to the vaccine. If you are taking steroids on a regular basis do not stop these, continue as recommended by your doctor. It is ok to continue inhaled or nasal steroids for asthma and allergies or topical steroids such as hydrocortisone for rashes or eczema.

The Day of Your Appointment

  • Know Where You’re Going: Show up on time to avoid delays – be prepared to wait with your mask.
  • If possible avoid Pain Relievers: Avoid over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers like Tylenol or ibuprofen right before your COVID shot. There is a small amount of data that these medications could decrease your immune response. If you have symptoms after your vaccine it is ok to take these as needed but there is no need to "pretreat" with these medications.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking water is important overall, but if you’re dehydrated you may experience dizziness or constipation.
  • Use Your Non-Dominant Arm for Vaccination: Arm pain generally accompanies a vaccination. Choosing your non-dominant arm won’t interfere with your everyday activities.

After You Get Vaccination

  • Don’t Post Your Vaccination Card Online: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) advises against posting your vaccination card on social media because of personal information. This could help identity thieves collect pieces of personal information that could be used to guess digits from your Social Security number, open accounts in your name, and claim tax refunds.
  • Avoid Alcohol: Don’t commemorate your COVID shot with an alcoholic drink – it’s better to delay your “celebration” day. Alcohol can cause dehydration increasing your chance for headaches and feeling lightheaded or dizzy. It may also interfere with your ability to even know if you have any side effects. If you do decide to drink, may sure you do it responsibly and in moderation.
  • OTC Pain Reliever Guidelines: If needed for side effects it is ok to take Tylenol or Ibuprofen.
  • Keep Following CDC Guidelines: Remember to hand wash, social distance and wear a mask!

For more information about how to schedule your COVID-19 vaccine with NorthShore, visit here