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Saturday, February 4, 2023

Need a third dose-What about pain killers before taking the shots-Here are experts’ views

With COVID-19 vaccinations in full swing globally, you might be gearing up for your first dose or perhaps, a family member is gearing up for a booster dose. You might also have chanced on snippets of information about a third does and wondering if it’s necessary.

But why are there suggestions for a third dose?

Can you do anything to reduce the after-math reactions before getting your shots?

How about the difference between rapid tests and the other forms of testing?

Below is a Journalists for Human Rights supported explainer to from experts to assist ease the your worry and aid you in making an informed decision.

A Third Dose Necessary?

After what seemed like a lull, the infection rate of COVID-19 is climbing, particularly with the emergence of the deadliest variant recorded yet of the Coronavirus. In the United Kingdom, 60% of those who are fully jabbed are being hospitalized according to briefings from the Downing Street. The situation in the United States is no different as the health system appears to be crumbling under intense pressure. These are triggering discourses on the need for a third dose.

Vaccine manufacturer Pfizer and BioNtech announced early July that it was considering a booster for the already double jabs received particularly in the United States. U.S. health officials have said a third dose is not widely needed but America’s Centre for Disease Control said the need for it is up for consideration. It said those with immunocompromise systems are expected to be given a booster (if need be). But Scientists say not everyone needs a booster shot or third dose.

“From my perspective as someone who takes care of immunocompromised people, including organ transplant recipients, who seem to have a diminished response to vaccination, and based on the data we have seen recently … it does seem like an additional dose of vaccine would be appropriate for this population. And as far as we can tell, it would be safe and likely to augment immunity,” said a transplant-medicine physician at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and an Advisory committee member Camille Kotton about the third dose. According to Scientists many others without these conditions are likely to have a boosted immune system with their second dose.

The European Medicines Agency and the European Centre for Disease Control says it is still yet to know if a third dose is needed.

“There is not yet enough data from vaccination campaigns and ongoing studies to understand how long protection from the vaccines will last, also considering the spread of variants.”

Do I need to take a pain killer before the COVID-19 jab?

No. According to physician lead at the Raffles Medical Group, Tseng Hsien Cho, some people may do “too much strenuous” exercise and experience discomfort the following day, which makes their immune system “worse than usual”.

Tseng said a “regular exercise; a healthy balanced diet, and adequate sleep can help to maximise the vaccine’s efficacy. Just one night of good sleep the day before can help to boost one’s immunity,” he stressed.

Scientists say taking alcohol would affect one’s immune system and ‘dampen a person’s immunity” to COVID-19. Instead, they recommend taking some glasses of water (moderate amount) to help stabilize the immune system. But drinking too much water, Tseng said “may cause swelling” and even water retention. “Just eat and drink as (you) would normally do.”

Dr. Gregory Poland, director of the Vaccine Research Group at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn explained that it’s possible that taking a painkiller before getting a vaccine will result in a “decrease in antibody response.”

What do I do to my sore arm after vaccination?

The uncomfortable feeling in your arm, alongside other systemic side effects are signs that your immune system is working, reacting to the vaccine and protecting you from the virus said medical experts. Some who have been vaccinated experienced sore arms and among other side effects.  But scientists say it’s normal with vaccines. Tseng advised that keeping one’s arm moving helps improve the body’s circulation. Prior to vaccination however, medical experts don’t recommend taking “medication without symptoms.”

Should you want to take action, you may place a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area and also take a pain-relieving medication such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen or aspirin “but only consider this after you get the vaccine, not before”, doctors have warned.

This story is supported by Journalists for Human Rights under the Mobilizing Media to Fighting COVID-19 project. 









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