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What To Do Before, During And After Getting The COVID-19 Vaccine?

By Isha Kukde +2 more

After a long, stressful encounter with the COVID-19 virus, the entire world is finally relieved to get access to the vaccines. Getting a Covid-19 vaccine is essential as it protects one against the COVID-19 virus. The approved vaccines have been carefully evaluated for safety and efficacy. Furthermore, they also make the infection less severe even if you contract the virus after vaccination.

As you get jabbed at your turn, you must know the expected side effects and practice the safety protocols before and after vaccination. We have some crucial tips for you as you await your turn to be vaccinated.

The process of getting registered for vaccination:

The availability of vaccines in India is the light at the end of the tunnel. You may be curious to know more about the types of vaccines available. Here are a few things you should know as you prepare to register for the vaccine.

  • Learn some facts: Two pharmaceutical companies brought their vaccines to the Indian markets. Serum Institute of India launched ‘Covishield,’ and Bharat Biotech introduced ‘Covaxin.’ The imported brand Sputnik V recently received approval for use in India. For more information, do the following:
    • Talk to your family doctor regarding your vaccination.
    • You may also visit genuine websites, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), to know about the types of vaccines and their mechanisms.
  • Eligibility for the vaccine: According to the current vaccination status in India, anybody above the age of 18 can get vaccinated from the 1st of May 2021.
  • Registration for the vaccine: Registering for the vaccine is mandatory. You may register through the Co-Win website https://www.cowin.gov.in/home or Arogya Setu app. Here are simple steps for registration:
    1. Use your mobile number and a valid photo ID, such as your Aadhar card, to register by entering your details.
    2. Select a vaccine centre for vaccination.
    3. Book your time slot for the vaccine and confirm your appointment.
    4. You will be notified on your registered mobile number about the date, time and name of the vaccination centre.

Tips to follow before vaccination

Once you have registered yourself and got an appointment for vaccination, here are some simple and valuable tips for you:

  • Do not take the vaccine on an empty stomach. Eat well before you go for your vaccine dose. Include leafy vegetables, food rich in antioxidants that help boost immunity.
  • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
  • Get good, peaceful sleep at night. The role of a good night’s sleep in boosting immunity is scientifically proven.
  • If you regularly take over-the-counter, inform the doctor at the vaccination site. However, do not take any painkiller medicines before taking the vaccine, just to avoid side effects.
  • Avoid excess alcohol intake as it may dehydrate you.
  • Inform people at work regarding your unavailability and plan your tasks accordingly so that you are not stressed about work as you visit the vaccination centre.
  • Be prepared to take any vaccine available at the centre at the given time. Remember, all vaccines have been proven safe and effective.
  • Wear a sleeveless or short-sleeved shirt or dress to facilitate getting the injection on your arm.
  • Cancel your appointment if you notice any Covid-like symptoms. Talk to your doctor about this.

Carry the ID you used for registration. Visit the centre wearing a double mask and maintain physical distance. Note the type of vaccine you received, as it would serve as a guide to book an appointment for the second dose.

Tips to follow during vaccination:

All COVID-19 vaccines are administered in the same way. The vaccine will be injected into the muscle in your upper arm and should not take longer than a few seconds. During vaccination, you must-

  • Keep your mask on and turn your face away from the vaccinator. This will ensure utmost safety for both.  
  • Try not to feel nervous or anxious and stay relaxed.
  • You may take slow deep breaths and do not move while you are getting injected. 

Tips to follow after vaccination:

Here are some valuable tips that will help you after vaccination:

  • After vaccination, stay seated at the vaccination centre for 30 minutes. Health workers will monitor you for immediate reactions. Report if you feel dizzy or have nausea, vomiting or any allergic reaction.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and keep your body hydrated after the vaccine dose.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol or smoking.
  • Soothe your arm. You may place a cool or wet washcloth on the area.
  • Swing your vaccinated arm to calm the inflammation.
  • Be prepared for some minor side effects as your body builds immune protection. These may go away in 1-2 days. The side effects are:
    1. Pain and redness at the site of injection
    2. Chills and mild fever
    3. Headache
    4. Fatigue and body ache
    5. Joint and muscle pain
  • Take paracetamol if you have any of the above symptoms. If they last for more than a week, contact your doctor immediately.
  • If you wish to take any other vaccine for a different medical condition, maintain a gap of at least 14 days after taking the Covid-19 vaccine. Inform your doctor about your recent vaccination history.
  • Download your vaccination certificate, mark your calendar for the second dose of the vaccine and schedule an appointment.
  • After the second dose of the vaccine, you may experience similar symptoms of side effects seen after the first dose. If the side effects persist for more than 1-2 days, call your doctor.
  • Remember that the antibodies that develop after the second dose of the vaccine reach a protective level after 15 days. Hence, be careful; do not relax the preventive measures.
  • It is also important to discuss with your doctor if you have been on immunosuppressants medicine, such as methotrexate. Your doctor might put the medication on hold for two weeks after the Covid-19 vaccine.


Remember that the vaccine is merely a prick. Try to overcome your nervousness and anxiety while getting injected. Collect your certificate of vaccination or download it from the Co-Win site. Be responsible citizens and get vaccinated when your turn comes.

Although you have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, remember to take preventive measures, especially in public places. Remember that vaccination does not ensure complete immunity. So continue wearing masks and follow safe hygiene practices for self-protection and prevent virus transmission. Take both doses according to the schedule and encourage other people to get vaccinated. Stay safe, stay strong!

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

Links and product recommendations in the information provided here are advertisements of third-party products available on the website. PharmEasy does not make any representation on the accuracy or suitability of such products/services. Advertisements do not influence the editorial decisions or content. The information in this blog is subject to change without notice. The authors and administrators reserve the right to modify, add, or remove content without notification. It is your responsibility to review this disclaimer regularly for any changes.

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Ashwini patil

I took my COVID vaccine yesterday. Can I take my thyroid medicines after vaccination
If I feel acidity, can I take an acidity tablet to overcome the problem?

Dr. Nikita Toshi

Hi Ashwini,
Yes, you may continue with your thyroid medicines as prescribed and also take your medicine to relieve acidity if needed. There is no such restriction in taking these medicines after vaccination. Stay healthy and safe.


Can I workout after vaccine?

Dr. Nikita Toshi

Hi Jagannath,
It is advised to avoid strenuous activities like exercise and workout for about 3 days post vaccination. You may carry out with your workout routine after 3 days of vaccination provided you have not experienced any side effects. In case of any fever or weakness post vaccination, you may delay your workout routine for about a week after getting better. Wishing you a good health.


When should we eat after a vaccine shot?

Dr. Nikita Toshi

Hi Vijayalakshmi,
There are no restrictions on eating post-vaccination. You may continue taking your meals in a regular way. Wish you a happy and healthy life.


thank you so much for your information

Ashir Sahal

You are most welcome. Hope you found it useful.


I had 2 cigarettes after the vaccination is there any possibility of having any side effects?


Hi, which vaccine is good to take? Covishield or Covaxin?


Can I go to work in the morning if I got a jab in the evening before?

Dr. Nikita Toshi

Dear Bhavna,
One can go to work and carry routine activities post-vaccination if there is no fever or serious discomfort. Avoid exertion and strenuous exercises for about 48 hours. Hope this helps.


My sister has taken covishield vaccine yesterday and today she is having a fever plus cold and shoulder pain and headache what should I do?

Dr. Nikita Toshi

Dear Aman,
Your sister can take a paracetamol tablet after meals to manage fever, headache, and shoulder pain. These side effects after vaccination usually resolve within 24-48 hours. In case symptoms worsen or persist for a longer duration, please consult your doctor. Stay healthy and safe.


Hi, Nikita Toshi
Shyla here
I have got 1st dose of vaccine (covid shield)
and the 2nd dose I should take covidshield or vaccine?

Dr. Nikita Toshi

Dear Shyla,
As advised, one should take both doses of the same vaccine. If your first dose was of Covishield, the second dose should also be of Covishield. Wish you good health!


Can I take MCBM 69 tablet after the covid vaccination?

Dr. Nikita Toshi

Dear Swetha, Tab.MCBM 69 contains multiple B vitamins. There is no contraindication mentioned for these vitamins after a Covid vaccine so you may continue as advised by your doctor. Wish you good health.

Susmita Samanta

Hi, I am already taking antibiotics for my cough. So can I still get the vaccine?

Dr. Nikita Toshi

Dear Susmita,
You can take a vaccine if you are on antibiotics. It is important to confirm the diagnosis for cough as it is also a symptom of COVID-19. Once ruled out, you can take a vaccine, in case the cough is due to Covid infection wait for 3 months after recovery before taking the vaccine. Wish you good health!

Dr. Nikita Toshi

Dear Susmita,
Antibiotics are not a contraindication for a Covid vaccine. Please make sure your cough is not due to Covid and you are not suffering from fever when you go for vaccination. One should defer the vaccination for at least 4-8 weeks after recovering from a Covid infection.
Hope this helps. Wish you good health.

Yashdeep Nimbalkar

How many days do I have to avoid smoking after getting the vaccination dose?

Dr. Nikita Toshi

Dear Yashdeep,
Smoking is injurious to health and one should quit smoking for better health. Although there are no approved scientific studies that quantify the effect of smoking on vaccination, it is advisable to avoid smoking for at least 24-48 hours before and after vaccination as it may aggravate and worsen vaccine side effects making the experience more stressful and unpleasant. Stay happy and safe!


Before getting the vaccine can I take my diabetes medicines?

Dr. Nikita Toshi

Dear Shruthi,
Yes, you can take your medicines for diabetes in the usual way before and after getting vaccinated unless advised otherwise by your doctor. Wish you good health.


After vaccination, after how many hours we can take bath?

Dr. Nikita Toshi

Dear Sana,
One can take a bath after coming back home post-vaccination. It is important to wait at the vaccination center for at least 30 minutes and report any significant discomfort if experienced. Wish you good health.