We all are aware that COVID vaccination helps by protecting us from getting COVID-19. Few side effects have been noticed in some cases post vaccination. These side effects may affect a person’s ability to do daily activities for a few days. Common side effects indicate that a person’s body is building protection to COVID-19. Here the question arises how to decide when to seek a doctor and what are common side effects. The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has released information on ‘how to monitor and report COVID-19 vaccine side effects’. So, let’s have a look at the steps one needs to follow.
*STEP 1: ASK*
First step is for the frontline workers who work in vaccination centers. The Ministry of I&B recommends asking a person prior vaccination if he/she has a history of severe allergic reaction from any vaccine.
If the answer is yes then frontline workers need to refer the person to an allergy specialist or health provider. The specialists will do the case duty and will recommend next steps.According to this step confirmation of not being severely allergic to any vaccine in the past is required to proceed with COVID vaccination.
This step involves assessing any health or medical conditions listed as precautions by the vaccine manufacturer. The precautions may differ a bit so it needs to be read carefully.
Some of the conditions or medical conditions may be- pregnancy, compromised immune system, severe frailty among older persons.
To clear the confusion, it’s not that people with these conditions can not take the vaccine. It’s just that they should be offered information & counselling. Infact, medical conditions listed as precautions by the local immunization programme should also be considered.
Before vaccination the person should know its side effects that they may face. Few common side effects which have been noticed in most of the cases post vaccination are- Arm soreness, mild fever, tiredness, headaches, muscle or joint aches.
CDC i.e Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also released a document on the common side effects. Some of them are pain, redness , swelling on the arm where you got the shot. It also includes chills and nausea throughout the rest of your body.
Do not bother much about these common effects if they last for short period of time as it shows that the person’s body is building protection to COVID-19.
After asking for history, assessing their condition and informing them about the common side effects, next comes the step of vaccination
It is already being followed at all centers that a person should wait for at least 15 minutes post vaccination. If the vaccinated person has vaccine allergy and has been approved by the allergy specialist, he/she should be monitored for at least half an hour.
The frontline workers should tell the vaccinated person how & where to report severe reactions.
If the vaccinated person goes through any unexpected or severe reactions during the observation period , then the vaccinators should immediately contact their supervisor for further advice.
*TIP TO RELIEVE SIDE EFFECTS*
As per CDC, one can talk to their doctor about taking over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen or aspirin for any pain and discomfort they may experience post vaccination. Do not take these medicines before vaccination for the purpose of preventing side effects.
*TIP TO REDUCE PAIN & DISCOMFORT*
Apply a clean, cool and wet washcloth over the area where you got the shot and use or exercise your arm. Dress plenty of fluids and dress lightly to reduce the discomfort from fever.
Remember, if the side effect continues even after a few days or redness where you got shot gets worse after 24 hours consult your doctor. Teleconsultation can be a good option during this period to avoid travelling. Medical care can also be seeked by calling 911 if you think you might be having a severe allergic reaction post vaccination.
That’s all for today. Thanks for watching.