Dos and don’ts before getting a COVID-19 vaccine

July 07, 2021 - 07:00

Lê Thanh Hải, Director of Thừa Thiên Huế Tuberculosis and Lung Disease Hospital, has suggested 10 things to do or avoid before getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

A doctor prepares the COVID-19 vaccine before the injection.— VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — Lê Thanh Hải, Director of Thừa Thiên Huế Tuberculosis and Lung Disease Hospital, has suggested 10 things to do or avoid before getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

According to Hải, knowing what to do and what to avoid will minimise mistakes when it is your turn to be vaccinated.

Do prepare documents

The first thing is preparing documentation that proves your age and job as well as demonstrates your priority to get the COVID-19 vaccine. You also have to make a health declaration via the electronic health book - a mobile application named 'Sồ sức khoẻ điện tử' at the request of the authorities.

Do prepare your health records

The second thing is preparing your health records. If you have underlying medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, obesity or drug allergies, you need to present health records and consult your doctor before inoculated.

Don't use steroids

You must avoid using steroids one week before getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Steroids such as prednisone and dexamethasone are commonly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune conditions.

Steroids also should not be used after vaccination because steroids strongly inhibit inflammation and can weaken the body's immunity, leading to a decreased response to the COVID-19 vaccine. If you're on steroids, tell your doctor about your COVID-19 vaccination schedule.

If you are using steroids, your doctor may prescribe medications that have the same effect but do not suppress the body's immune system.

Do come to the vaccination site on time

Make sure you arrive at the vaccination site on time and seriously obey the Ministry of Health’s 5K message at the vaccinate site, namely Khẩu trang (face mask) – Khử khuẩn (disinfection) – Khoảng cách (distance) – Không tụ tập (no gathering) – Khai báo y tế (health declaration).

Don't take painkillers before getting vaccinated

Avoid taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs right before getting a COVID-19 vaccine because they can reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory drug that interferes with the vaccine's attempt to train your immune system to respond to the virus by increasing inflammation in your body. If there are side effects after the injection such as arm pain, chills and muscle pain, it is because the immune system is learning to make antibodies against the virus.

Do drink enough water

Make sure your body gets enough water. Water is not only important for everyday health but also controls or prevents discomfort caused by the COVID-19 vaccine.

Don't drink alcohol

Avoid drinking alcohol before and on the day of getting vaccinated. Besides, during the pandemic, health experts have recommended people avoid drinking to optimise their health. Staying in good health keeps your immune system in tip-top shape, helping fight against the virus if you are exposed to it and helping to make antibodies against the virus when you get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Do wear appropriate clothing

Wear clothing so that medical staff can easily access the skin on your upper arm.

Do get injected in your weaker arm

You should be injected in your non-dominant arm because you will have pain at the injection site and difficulty moving your arm. The dominant arm allows you to perform everyday activities.

Do research the side effects

You should learn about the vaccine’s side effects before getting an injection. After receiving the vaccine, you have to wait at least 30 minutes to see if there are any serious reactions or side effects at the vaccination site.

If you experience any symptoms, you have to immediately notify the doctor at the vaccination site.

You need to keep your certificate of vaccination against COVID-19 and should not drive immediately after vaccination.

It is important to update any reactions after injection on your electronic health book application. You must not apply medicine or anything to the injection site. You must also take a note of the name, address, and phone number of the doctor that gave you the vaccination and the medical facility to contact in case of emergency.

Currently, there are many types of COVID-19 vaccines, some people want to choose and wait for the vaccine they want.

However, health experts recommend that people should get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible with whatever vaccine is available locally. The sooner herd immunity is achieved, the safer you are during the pandemic.

People still have to follow the 5K message after being injected with the COVID-19 vaccine because they are not fully protected immediately after receiving the vaccine. — VNS