Vaccine Selfcare | Healthy UNH

Your COVID-19 vaccine works before and after

Did I hear the Beatles playing in the background saying “Here comes the sun”?

This past weekend I got the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and this song is sticking out of my head. Now I know very well that the epidemic is far away and we still have a long way to go. But wow, it sure feels like a big weight has been lifted off my shoulder. Not only am I one step closer to quitting the epidemic by COVID-19, but I am also doing my part to keep everyone in contact with safe and healthy people. I’m lying, it sounds so good.

As much as I was thrilled to get vaccinated (the only thing I’ve been talking about this week), I fully admit that I was unwell that day. I have read science and literature, I have heard reliable sources of information, and I have kept up to date with all the recent evidence for this vaccine since the talks began last April. Still, I was a little nervous. I asked myself “Like, what happens if I have a reaction?” Or “What if it doesn’t work?” And sometimes I thought, “Sometimes I have to wait a few months to get it.”

These thoughts were getting aggressive as I got closer and closer to getting vaccinated, and then I just stopped and shot at these questions again. Instead of asking, “What if I have a reaction?” I asked, “What if I don’t have a response?” And when I thought “What if it doesn’t work?” I thought, “What if it works?” And gradually, I was able to muster up the courage to take and show more control, sign documents, take shots, and schedule my second dose.

And just like that, I showed up, signed the document, got the shot, and set my second dose. All on a bright sunny Sunday afternoon. The sun made me feel warmer as I walked on the next park walk, the birds sang better and I felt great joy and excitement.

And then my hand started to hurt. Like is really hurt.

No I didn’t have a crazy reaction or anything like that, I was just having all the normal and expected side effects. So today I’m just (hopefully) going to inspire you to get vaccinated, I’m also going to share its own Safecare advice to help reduce some of the side effects you may experience after getting vaccinated.

  • Drink plenty of water during the day; Before and after the shot. If you’re anything like me and can always count on hitting a needle in the head, drink some water! Being well hydrated may not help prevent it, but it will definitely make you feel a little better. After all, being dehydrated, and then lightheading is not a fun combination.

  • Your ice pack and Tylenol are ready. Although the pain was not immediate, I took Tylenol and used an ice pack as soon as I got home to relieve the pain.

  • Eat nutritious food. Getting a bunch of calorie-dense foods almost always makes you feel nauseous and sluggish, so take nutritious-dense foods after your vaccination to avoid this feeling.

  • Drink your tea and go to bed early. Within a few hours of receiving the vaccine, I felt a little sleepy so I drank tea and as soon as I fell asleep my body needed rest and allowed me to be hydrated at night.

  • Respect yourself and your body. This is the most important tip. Make sure you thank your body for keeping you healthy and safe throughout the epidemic. Your body puts a lot of stress and depression into your health over the past year. So once you’ve been vaccinated, respect your body, listen to it, and relax when you let the vaccine do its job to keep you healthy and safe.

And if you are still hesitant to get vaccinated, I invite you to be lean. Ask questions, and get information from reliable sources. Yes, this is a new vaccine and it can look scary. But once you know about it, what it means, and how it works; I promise it’s not bad.

To learn more about the vaccine, check out this great resource CDC. Health and wellness are also some of the wonderful resources that can be found Here.

Until I get my second dose, I will continue to wear the mask, wash my hands, and keep my distance. I will continue to stand by my side. Finally, if you have decided to get this vaccine or have received it; I want to thank you for protecting yourself and others (yourself). You are caring, courageous and selfless. Thank you.

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