Pre & Post COVID-19 Vaccine Supplement Regimen

September 20, 2021

Pre & Post COVID-19 Vaccine Supplement Regimen

In this article:

  • The COVID-19 vaccine: What to know before you go
  • Tips to help manage COVID-19 vaccine side effects
  • Effective natural supplements to consider pre & post vaccine for better health

The COVID-19 Vaccine: What to Know Before You Go

Covid vaccine eligibility is opening up for millions of people worldwide. There are three effective COVID-19 vaccines that have been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  1. Moderna
  2. Pfizer-Biontech (now approved by the FDA)
  3. Johnson & Johnson

Both the Pfizer-Biontech and Moderna vaccines include mRNA in their ingredients and require two doses (shots to the upper arm) administered 3-4 weeks apart. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single dose vaccine shot also administered to the upper arm. For the two-dose vaccines, each shot may come with its own set of side effects. For the single-dose J&J vaccine, you may experience all of the vaccine side effects at once rather than one set per each dose. However, more people report side effects from the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine than the first dose. Before choosing a vaccine, speak with your health care provider about your risks and potential allergic reactions so they can determine which, if any, vaccine is right for you.

Per the FAQs found on the CDC website, common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines include:

  • Pain, redness, and swelling around the injection site (the upper arm)
  • Possible side effects similar to the flu including:
    • Tiredness
    • Headache
    • Muscle pain
    • Chills
    • Fever
    • Nausea
    • Body aches

The CDC also states that "If you had an immediate or severe allergic reaction [anaphylaxis] after getting the first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get a second dose of either of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. An allergic reaction is considered severe when a person needs to be treated with epinephrine or EpiPenĀ© or if they must go to the hospital."

The following groups are also more likely to have adverse reactions to vaccines:

  • Immunocompromised individuals
  • Individuals with severe allergies
  • Individuals with higher loads of environmental toxins
  • Individuals with a history of gastrointestinal issues
  • Individuals with genetic abnormalities

Tips to Help Manage COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects

Vaccines work by triggering our immune systems to create antibodies that fight diseases such as Coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2. Additionally, "antibody-producing memory cells" are produced to help prevent future illness when exposed to the same disease. Essentially, vaccines expose the immune system to specified diseases and train it to respond in certain ways to avoid getting sick. New COVID-19 vaccines contain mRNA which corresponds to a viral protein and instructs the body to identify the protein as foreign and create antibodies to eliminate it.

Those who have strong negative reactions to vaccines often have weakened immune systems. Thus, strengthening the immune response before you get "the jab" is important. Here are some things you can do leading up to your first and second vaccine appointments:

  • Get a good night's sleep the night before your appointment.
  • Stay hydrated! For men, 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids are recommended per day. For women, 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids are recommended. In the two days leading up to the shot, try to drink an extra 16-32 ounces (that's one or two extra bottles of water) to make sure you are properly hydrated.
  • Take over-the-counter pain medication as a preventative measure. Unless your doctor has specifically advised against it, taking a standard dose of ibuprofen or acetaminophen may help to prevent any pain and discomfort following your shot. If you prefer to avoid NSAIDs, boswellia serrata extract, a natural anti-inflammatory, may relieve shot-related pain and is considered safe for daily use.
  • Start taking a vitamin D3 supplement. A recent study showed 82% of patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 had low blood levels of vitamin D. Additionally, another study found those with adequate blood levels of vitamin D were less likely to have severe reactions (hospitalization) from COVID-19. The daily recommended value of vitamin D is 600 IU for people ages 1 to 70 years and 800 IU for people over 70 years, which can be difficult (and dangerous) to obtain through sunlight exposure alone. Instead, try taking a daily vitamin D supplement.
  • Take an immune-boosting supplement like vitamin C. In order to prevent negative reactions to the vaccine, take measures to strengthen your immune system. Vitamin C boosts the immune system in many ways, such as encouraging the production of white blood cells and speeding up the recovery time from other infectious diseases such as pneumonia. Amandean's Premium Liposomal Vitamin C is highly bioavailable, easy to use, and delivers 1000mg or 1667% of your daily intake in a single dose.
  • Avoid pro-inflammatory foods that are high in saturated fat and sugar.
  • Avoid alcohol and other potentially allergenic food like fish or seafood.
  • Add a multivitamin to your day. Aside from the heavy-hitter vitamin C, there are many necessary vitamins and minerals that support the immune system. Multivitamins containing zinc, vitamin E, magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin B can strengthen the immune response and may support DNA synthesis and repair.

Whether you've just gotten your first dose or walked away after your second shot, vaccination card in hand, you can continue a simple routine to keep vaccine side effects at bay. After your first or second vaccination dose:

  • Continue to stay hydrated. Dehydration can exacerbate vaccination side effects, while proper hydration supports the immune system's functioning.
  • Apply ice to the vaccination site to reduce swelling and pain. A cold compress or even a makeshift frozen broccoli ice pack can help to prevent soreness and reduced mobility in your arm.
  • Exercise your upper body to avoid stiffness from setting in! Even doing arm circles (weighted or not) will help to exercise the muscle where the shot was administered and avoid soreness.
  • Rest up! Even if it doesn't feel like it, the body is hard at work healing while we sleep. If work and personal schedules allow it, consider taking a half-day to allow yourself to sleep in and replenish your body.
  • Continue your supplement routine! Preventing rather than treating the side effects of the covid vaccine is the best route to a speedy recovery. If you developed a pre-vaccine routine, continue taking supplements through the entire recovery process. In fact, don't stop there! It's always a smart move to support your immune system, especially during a pandemic.

Take a natural pain reliever. Supplements like boswellia serrata and turmeric can help treat pain and inflammation without the nasty side effects that often come from daily NSAID use.

  • Avoid pro-inflammatory foods that are high in saturated fat and sugar. This includes alcohol!
  • Avoid alcohol and other potentially allergenic food like fish or seafood.

As with most vaccine-related symptoms, the severity varies across individuals. However, the CDC recommends you contact a doctor if the redness or tenderness at the vaccination site gets worse after 24 hours and/or if your side effects do not seem to be going away after a few days.

Depending on where you live, vaccination appointments may be scheduled online and administered in hospitals, private practices, pharmacies (like CVS and Walgreens), and "pop-up" clinics can even be held in public spaces like parks, arenas, and small businesses. If you have any concerns about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, have had severe reactions to prior vaccines, or simply want more information about how to lessen the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, speak with a trusted doctor.

Summary Points

  • Vaccines work by triggering our immune systems to create antibodies that fight diseases such as Coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2
  • Unless your doctor has specifically advised against it, taking a standard dose of ibuprofen or acetaminophen may help to prevent any pain and discomfort following your shot
  • Vitamin C boosts the immune system in many ways, such as encouraging the production of white blood cells and speeding up the recovery time from other infectious diseases such as pneumonia
  • Supplements like boswellia serrata and turmeric can help treat pain and inflammation without the nasty side effects that often come from daily NSAID use

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