Coronavirus Pandemic

UAE: Should you take a day off to rest after Covid jab?

Dhanusha Gokulan (Principal Correspondent)/Dubai Filed on July 20, 2021 | Last updated on July 20, 2021 at 11.15 pm
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An entire day of rest may not be necessary for some people who have taken the vaccine.

Though vaccination effects could vary from one person to another, UAE doctors advise residents to rest and avoid strenuous activities after the Covid jab.

After receiving either the first and second dose of the vaccine, “it is not recommended to do intense exercise or heavy work activities like swimming or get exposed to the sun”, said Dr Gelan Sadek, family medicine specialist at Medcare Medical Centre, Mirdif.

ALSO READ: Covid vaccines effective against Delta variant, say UAE doctors

However, Dr Sadek stressed that not all people who have taken the vaccine should rest the entire day. “It basically depends on the person. If the individual is having intense side effects, then it is better for them to take an entire day off. But for some, there may not be any side effects so they can carry out their day normally.”

Most people are likely to experience minor side effects, but these are a sign that the body is building immune protection, said Dr Anjali Bantwal, clinical pathology specialist at Burjeel Specialty Hospital, Sharjah.

“Some of the common side effects are pain, swelling, and redness on the arm where you received the vaccine, chills or mild fever, tiredness, headaches, and joint pain or muscle ache.”

These effects go away in a day or two, so if anyone experiences persistent symptoms, it’s best to see a doctor.

There are others who could experience severe reactions, which may include high fever, diarrhoea, or vomiting. “Either way, immunity against the virus is established,” explained Dr Bantwal.

Other symptoms to watch out for are headache, tiredness, chills, fever and nausea. “These are common symptoms after getting the vaccine. Take rest if any of these symptoms are present,” said Dr Jyoti Upadhyay, internal medicine specialist at Aster Hospital, Mankhool.

Doctors’ reminders comes with more people taking the jab as the UAE continues its drive to vaccinate the last 22 per cent of its eligible population. So far, about 78 per cent of residents have received at least one dose and over 68 per cent are fully vaccinated.

With the availability of five different vaccines against Covid-19, more people have been encouraged to get the shot, said Dr Srinivasa Rao Polumuru, internal medicine specialist at NMC Speciality Hospital, Al Nahda, Dubai.

“As more and more people are getting vaccinated every day, it’s important to look at the dos and don’ts after getting the Covid-19 vaccination,” said Dr Polumuru.

“People who get their shots should not massage or rub the injection site. They can apply ice packs if there’s any pain or swelling.”

Alternatively, residents can take paracetamol tablets for the pain. “They have to drink plenty of liquids and keep arm movements light,” he added.

Dr Bantwal said that while severe side effects are rare, some may experience them.

“These include itching, fainting, vomiting, severe allergic reaction, wheezing, difficulties in breathing, or shortness of breath. If anybody feels uncomfortable following vaccination, they should promptly inform the medical team at the vaccination centre,” she explained.

Any severe side effect is likely to show up in the first 15 to 30 minutes. “So, the 30-minute observation helps people get immediate medical care if they display any reactions,” she added.

Dr Sadek stressed that some patients suffer such effects, while others do not get any. This all depends on the person’s system and how the vaccine reacts to it.”

What to eat after your jab

> There are no specific food to avoid after taking the vaccine but it is best to refrain from eating spicy and fatty ones. Healthy food like fruits and veggies are recommended.

> The vaccinated person must also drink a lot of fluids and keep the body hydrated.

> Eating highly nutritious food and taking vitamin C help the immune system work better.

> One is also advised to have some anti-inflammatory foods, like extra virgin olive oil, almonds and walnuts, fish, fruit and veggies

What about smoking?

It is not recommended to smoke and consume alcohol because the vaccine will be working on stimulating the immune system and consuming alcohol or smoking can lead to suppression.


Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for over ten years. For Khaleej Times, she covers NRI affairs, civil aviation, and immigration issues among other things. She completed her BA in Journalism, Economics and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008 and is currently pursuing her MA in Leadership and Innovation in Contemporary Media at the American University in Dubai. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves food, and is mom to an over-enthusiastic Labrador retriever. Tweet at her @shootsprintrite.

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