With the COVID-19 vaccine now available for Singaporeans below 45 years of age, it would not be long before every Singaporeans go for their vaccination. Like most vaccines, side effects like fever, tiredness, and body aches are commonly reported in those who have taken the vaccine. Thus, we have put together a list of Dos and Don’ts to show you how to best prepare for the COVID-19 vaccine!
Firstly, here is a list of common side effects you may experience after taking the vaccine reported by the CDC.
On the injection site (arm):
Rest of the body:
- Muscle soreness
The list may seem long, but the side effects are reported to be mild and would only last for one to three days. We at Share Food think a little discomfort is worth not contracting the coronavirus! Nevertheless, if you would like your experience to be as pain-free as possible, we have the best tips for you.
For more information on the vaccine and the side effects, you can read experts’ opinions about it here.
Now, let us take you through how you can best prepare yourself for the COVID-19 vaccine with our Dos and Don’ts!
Do Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Being well hydrated is not only the key to minimising any side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, it is also the key to your overall health!
According to the Ministry of Health, water carries out many vital functions in our bodies such as regulating temperature, boosting muscle performance, and flushing out waste products. Staying hydrated helps keep our bodies and immune system working at their optimum and can help reduce tiredness and headaches which are two common side effects of the vaccine.
Thus, remember to drink plenty of fluids both before and after the vaccine!
Don’t: Drink Drank, Drunk
The opposite of water is alcohol. Due to its chemical structure, alcohol molecules have to bind to water molecules for the body to break them down. This means that the more alcohol you consume, the more water your body is used up, thus dehydrating you.
Other than dehydration, we are sure you are familiar with the usual effects of alcohol on the body. Clearly, if you are dizzy and tired from the vaccine, you would not want additional dizziness from alcohol consumption on top of that!
Do: Eat a meal before the jab
If you have a fear of needles, an empty stomach will make the anxiety worse. In fact, you would be more likely to faint!
Eat a healthy balanced meal of carbs, protein, and fibre before you go for your COVID-19 vaccine jab. With healthy foods, you will physically feel better and be more relaxed and prepared for any side effects that may happen after the jab.
Choose whole grains like oats and brown rice, lean meats like chicken breast, and plenty of fruits and vegetables to make a healthy and filling meal. Alternatively, some healthier hawker foods like chapati, thunder tea rice, and mee Soto are good options too.
We also recommend a quick and fortifying breakfast of Egg Mayo Sandwich with BRAND’S Essence of Chicken to power up your body!
Don’t: Go hangry (Hungry + angry)
An empty stomach never feels good and you do not need any extra negativity on top of the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine!
Skipping meals can also lead to an episode of low blood sugar which increases the chances of fainting, headaches, or tiredness. So, do yourself a favour and enjoy a good meal before going for your vaccine.
Do: Load up on Vitamin C and anti-inflammatory foods
The best way to prepare your body for the vaccine is to boost your immune system with Vitamin C and anti-inflammatory foods. Vaccines are essentially like a safely controlled mini-infection that allows your body to identify and build a resistance against the virus or bacteria, hence the infection-like side effects.
Hence, to help your body adapt to the vaccine, it is good to load up on Vitamin C and anti-inflammatory rich foods. Some examples are turmeric, fatty fishes such as salmon, honey, citrus fruits such as oranges and Kiwi, and most green vegetables.
Don’t: Have a cheat day
While it can be tempting to treat yourself to your favourite junk foods when you are feeling lousy, it would only be a short-lived distraction!
Processed foods can fuel inflammation and are not the best way to support your body while it is working on adapting to the vaccine. Instead, opt for home-cooked foods made with fresh ingredients for optimal health and a quicker recovery time!
Overall, our tips on best preparing for the COVID-19 vaccine focus on keeping your body healthy. There are no concrete methods to eliminate the vaccine's side effects as it is a natural process, but with these healthy tips, you can minimise them! Do also practice healthy lifestyle habits such as having enough sleep and exercise.
The main point of taking the COVID-19 vaccine is to remain the best of health so that Singapore can open again socially and economically. Thus, we at Share Food highly recommend that you book your vaccination slot once the opportunity arises!
If you would like to find out more information about the available COVID-19 vaccines in Singapore and how to register for them, please refer to the Ministry of Health page here.