The COVID19 vaccines developed by Pfizer and BioNTech and Moderna are being offered to a vast majority of people. However, there have been some people who have suffered minimal side effects after getting the shot. The most common side effects of the vaccines are temporary pain, swelling at the injection site, fever, chills, fatigue, muscle aches, and headaches. Only a fraction of people have gone through the nuisance of these side effects after the vaccination. Some people have attempted to prevent these side effects by taking common over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen (Tylenol) before getting the vaccine. Now, health experts have warned people saying these pain relievers might ease the pain, but they might nullify the effect of the vaccine as well. They have said that people should not take premedication with ibuprofen and Tylenol before taking the COVID19 vaccines. They have said that there is no data available, which shows how these drugs will affect the vaccine-induced antibody responses. An infectious disease expert Dr. Simone Wildes has said that the side effects from the vaccines are the sign of activation of the immune system. He has said that these side effects show that the immune system is functioning correctly and has started to build immunity against COVID19.
Experts have said that painkillers might interfere with some parts of the immune system and slow down the immune responses. They believe that taking these drugs before the inoculation might reduce the efficiency of the vaccines as well. A team of experts from Duke University has said that children who have taken these painkillers before the vaccination have developed fewer antibodies as compared to those who have not taken these drugs. Dr. William Schaffner who is an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center has said that people should have optimal protection from vaccines. He has advised people that they should have a substantial response to the first dose of the vaccine and keep their pain relievers on hold. He has seen that some people suffer from sore arms otherwise; they feel fine without the pain relievers. While experts have suggested that people should not take painkillers before being vaccinated, at the same time, they have said that they should continue with the painkillers if they are facing another medical issue. Schaffner has said that stopping these drugs might cause unintended issues and can be riskier in such a case.
The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that people should be vigilant about side effects after getting the shot. The agency has suggested that people should not take these over-counter drugs before symptoms of these side effects start to show up. Experts have said that people should consult their health care provider before taking such painkillers after receiving the vaccine. They have said that there are other ways to reduce the pain and other side effects of the vaccines such as applying clean, wet, and cool cloth at the injection site and moving or exercising arms. For fever, people should drink plenty of water and other fluids and wear light clothes. If people develop chills, headaches, and fever after vaccination, they can use painkillers to subside the symptoms, but not before they see any significant side effects and only after consulting their health care provider.