This Month In Health
  • In It for the Long Haul
    For most people, COVID-19 comes and goes in a few days or weeks. But some people don’t get off that easy. For these people, symptoms persist for weeks or months, even when the virus is no longer detected in their body. Here's what we know about long COVID so far. Read >>
  • Life After Stroke
    For many, the effects of stroke are felt for a lifetime afterward. But with appropriate rehabilitation services, you can overcome many stroke-induced complications. Read >>
  • Is It a Heart Attack?
    While some heart attacks cause intense and sudden chest pain, others only cause a feeling of discomfort in the chest that comes and goes and lasts more than a few minutes. However, heart attack isn’t the only reason you might suffer chest pain. Read >>
  • Before the Shot
    The long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine has arrived and millions of people have now protected themselves and others from the deadly virus. As you anticipate your turn in the vaccine line, here’s what you should know. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

Before the Shot

Helpful tips to get ready for the COVID-19 vaccine.

The long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine has arrived and millions of people have now protected themselves and others from the deadly virus. Millions more are still waiting for their turn. Maybe your turn hasn’t arrived yet, but you’re ready to schedule the date. After all, you’re tired of keeping your distance and wearing a mask. If a shot helps you get back to normal, bring it on!

Sound like you? As you anticipate your turn in the vaccine line, here’s what you should know.

Get It Scheduled

Each state has developed their own vaccination plan that determines when different groups of people are eligible to receive the vaccine. Before you schedule your vaccine, you’ll need to be part of the eligible group. Visit your state’s health department website or call them to find out when you’re eligible, to learn more about the proces, and to sign up for an appointment.

Three Options

As of right now, there are three versions of the COVID-19 vaccine available in the United States. It may depend on what area of the country you live in for which vaccine is available. The three vaccines include the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccines. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines require two doses given three weeks apart. The Moderna vaccine is given in two doses 28 days apart. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is only one shot.

Your eligibility for a specific vaccine depends on your age. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is recommended for ages 16 and over, while the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines are recommended for those 18 years and older. Regardless of which vaccine you choose, it takes two weeks after the final shot for your body to build needed immunity to protect against a COVID-19 infection.

Medication Considerations

If you’re currently taking medication that suppresses the immune system, talk with your doctor before getting vaccinated. Not on such medication? You should be fine. The vaccine should not be a problem. Continue taking your current medications.

Since side effects are possible after getting the shot, some people wonder if they should take an over-the-counter pain reliever prior to their vaccine. Others wonder if taking an antihistamine before their shot could prevent an allergic reaction. As of right now, it’s not recommended to take either of these medications since it’s unknown if these drugs interfere with the vaccine’s effectiveness.

Other Vaccine Considerations

Currently, it’s unknown whether getting multiple vaccines around the time of your COVID-19 vaccine reduces the safety or effectiveness of any vaccines. Therefore, it is recommended that you wait at least two weeks after getting another type of vaccine. So give it time after your flu or shingles shot before getting immunized against COVID-19. And after your final COVID-19 shot, wait at least two weeks before getting any other type of vaccine.

Expect Side Effects

Many people experience few or no side effects following their COVID-19 vaccine. Others develop side effects that slow them down for a day or two. Bothersome as they are, such side effects indicate your body is working to build immunity.

The most common side effects include pain, minor swelling, and redness at the sight of injection. You may also have a headache, tiredness, muscle pain, fever, chills, or nausea. Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers to reduce your side effects. Moving your arm or applying a cool, wet cloth to your arm may help relieve pain. Side effects are usually worse after your second shot.

Start today for unlimited access to an unparalleled variety of $5000 worth of at-home workouts, yoga, and more.