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The #1 Thing to NEVER DO After Your COVID Vaccine

Don’t make these 5 mistakes, or else you put yourself at risk.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

After getting your COVID-19 vaccine, you might feel something before you even leave the site—namely, the desire to tear off your mask and start your "normal" life again. But slow down. Right after getting the shot, you are not fully vaccinated or protected—it takes at least two weeks after your final dose to be so—and there are other things you should never do. Read on to see 5 things you should never do, counting down to #1—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Signs Your Illness is Actually Coronavirus in Disguise.


Don't Take These Medications After Vaccination Unless You're Sure It's OK, Says CDC

Woman holding pills on her hand.

"Talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, or antihistamines, for any pain and discomfort you may experience after getting vaccinated," says the CDC. "You can take these medications to relieve post-vaccination side effects if you have no other medical reasons that prevent you from taking these medications normally."


Don't Worry if You Feel This After Your Vaccine, Says CDC

woman covered by a blanket on the sofa with high fever and flu

"After COVID-19 vaccination, you may have some side effects," says the CDC. "These are normal signs that your body is building protection. The side effects from COVID-19 vaccination, such as chills or tiredness, may affect your ability to do daily activities, and they should go away in a few days." They add: "Side effects after your second shot may be more intense than the ones you experienced after your first shot. These side effects are normal signs that your body is building protection and should go away within a few days."


Don't Hesitate to Contact Your Doctor if You Have the Following Side Effects, Says CDC

Uncomfortable young woman scratching her arm while sitting on the sofa at home.

"In most cases, discomfort from pain or fever is a normal sign that your body is building protection. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider:

  • If the redness or tenderness where you got the shot gets worse after 24 hours
  • If your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days"


Don't Stop Following Public Safety Precautions, Says CDC

Woman with medical mask to protect her from virus

"We're still learning how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19," says the CDC. "After you've been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking precautions—like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces—in public places until we know more."

RELATED: This COVID Vaccine Has the Most Side Effects, Study Says


Don't Leave the Vaccination Site Until After at Least 15 Minutes, Says CDC

Doctor wearing protection mask against covid taking notes during consultation with patient in medical clinic

The CDC advises all people to wait at least 15 minutes at the vaccination site after getting vaccinated to remain under observation, to make sure you don't experience an allergic reaction. "Wait 30 minutes if you qualify for the following:

  • History of an immediate allergic reaction of any severity to a vaccine or injectable therapy
  • People with a contraindication to a different type of COVID-19 vaccine (for example, people with a contraindication to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines who receive Janssen viral vector vaccine should be observed for 30 minutes following Janssen vaccination).
  • History of anaphylaxis due to any cause
  • 15 minutes: All other people."

So with that in mind, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek