Personal Physicians
David Katzman, MD & Jennifer DeLaney, MD Internal Medicine Specialists
Some Dos and Don'ts to Know for the COVID Vaccine
Since we know many of you have registered at different locations and are eagerly awaiting an appointment for the COVID vaccine, we thought we'd put out some dos and don'ts so you can be prepared for when your time comes to receive the vaccination.
  1. DO read the FDA’s Fact Sheet for Recipients before getting the vaccine. Here's the Fact Sheet for Pfizer and the Fact Sheet for Moderna. It is a requirement by the CDC that this information be given to all participants beforehand.
  2. DON’T get vaccinated if you’re currently sick. If you’re having symptoms, check with your doctor if you need to be tested for Coronavirus. If your doctor determines your symptoms aren’t COVID-related, you may receive the vaccine if only mildly sick. If you have a fever or acute moderate to severe illness, you should not receive the vaccine. Being ill not only may lower your immune response to the vaccine, but it also may put those around you at the vaccine clinic at risk of getting sick. Talk to your doctor about when it would be a good time to get vaccinated once feeling better.
  3. DO get vaccinated even if you’ve already had COVID or if you’ve received antibody therapy or convalescent plasma. BUT it’s recommended you wait at least 4 weeks and as long as 3 months after symptoms if you have had COVID. For those who have had antibody or plasma treatment, you should wait 3 months before getting the vaccine. In both instances, experts predict you will retain your antibodies during this time.
  4. DON’T take ibuprofen or acetaminophen before your vaccine or for a week after unless directed by your doctor. These medications may reduce the vaccine’s ability to work and may reduce your immune response, so it’s best to avoid it for this time period. If you are having pain at the injection site, we recommend putting a cool, wet cloth over the area. Using/exercising your arm may also help with the discomfort. If you develop a fever, drink plenty of fluids and dress lightly. If your pain or fever is too uncomfortable however, talk to your doctor about their recommendations.
  5. DO be aware of possible side effects. In general, the side effects—if you experience them—should go away in a day or two. However, if the redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours or if your side effects are worrying you or don't seem to be going away after a few days, please call your doctor. The CDC has a free app you can download called V-safe which allows you to participate in health check-ins and receive a reminder for your second dose.
  6. DON’T drink heavy alcohol before or after the vaccination. Excessive alcohol intake can significantly reduce immunity and therefore reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine.
  7. DO stay for the recommended 15-30 minute wait period after the vaccination. Wait 15 minutes generally, but 30 minutes if you’ve had a serious allergic reaction in the past. It’s best to be monitored for this period of time, since, while rare, there is a risk of having an allergic reaction after getting vaccinated.
  8. DO receive your second dose. According to the CDC the preferred interval for the second dose is 21 days later for Pfizer and 28 days later for Moderna. You should get your second dose as close to this recommended interval as possible. If it is not feasible to receive it then, the CDC has updated its guidance and extended the window to up to 42 days later. Since it’s been shown that immunity may not develop fully after your first dose, it’s important to get the second dose to increase your chances of fighting the virus if later exposed. In addition, you will need to get the same vaccine you did for the first shot; they cannot be interchanged. Also, it’s recommended you get the second shot at the same location as your first in order to keep accurate records.
    9. DON’T stop wearing a mask and DO continue to keep your distance, avoid large crowds, and wash hands. It will take some time for the vaccine to build up its effectiveness. In addition, while it will greatly decrease your chances of getting COVID, it isn’t 100% effective. There’s a small chance you could still become infected with COVID but not experience symptoms. It is being studied, but currently it is unclear if you will still be able to shed the virus to others after being vaccinated. Until more herd immunity is achieved, it’s best for yourself and others to continue the efforts to decrease the spread.
    10. DO refer to these two sites for more information: CDC’s FAQs and NY Times’s FAQs.  At the end of the NY Times’s guide, you can also post a question you may have regarding the vaccine. They will speak with their experts to gather an answer for you.
Please visit our website if you have missed any past newsletters. The newsletter archives can be found by hovering your mouse over the "Medical Links" tab.

11709 Old Ballas Rd. Suite 101, St. Louis, MO 63141

Unsubscribe | Manage Subscription | Forward Email