It is normal to experience pain at the injection site, fever, headache and body pain for two to three days after getting the vaccine. There is no firm answer or scientific evidence that indicates that alcohol, including wine, should be avoided after getting the vaccine. However, most health officials advise against drinking for about a week because the symptoms that may occur after the vaccine may worsen with alcohol.
Is the COVID-19 vaccine effective?
The vaccine is effective in reducing risk of the disease or at least preventing serious complications due to COVID-19. All vaccines are also safe provided people have no contraindications. Pregnant women, children and people with active COVID-19 infection should not get vaccinated per the current norms. While getting the vaccine does not mean people will never get COVID-19, the vaccine will prevent serious illness or death due to COVID-19 complications.
The vaccine is given in two doses four to eight weeks apart. It usually takes two to four weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus. This means people can get infected with COVID-19 before or just after vaccination and because the vaccine would not have enough time to provide protection.
People can still be symptomatic carriers and infect others after vaccination. Therefore, it is advisable to continue taking precautions such as wearing a mask, maintaining a six-foot distance, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, and washing hands often.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 or coronavirus disease is an infectious disease caused by a novel strain of coronavirus named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2). The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared SARS-COV-2 a global pandemic. Cases were first discovered in Wuhan in early December 2019. The virus then spread globally and emerged as the cause of acute respiratory disease. Coronavirus seems to be more contagious (spreads more easily) and leads to a more serious illness than the flu.
Coronaviruses belong to a large family of related RNA viruses that cause illnesses ranging from common cold to severe diseases such as Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-COV).
COVID-19 cases continue to increase with deaths being reported worldwide. Hence, people must take precautions such as wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, regular hand washing and getting vaccinated. Getting diagnosed and seeking treatment early are crucial because any delay can be deadly.
The new COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough provides hope against the virus. Extensive trials have been conducted to test the vaccine’s efficacy. It is recommended that people get vaccinated provided they have no contraindications for the same. Several countries have started vaccinating their populations, especially health-care workers and the elderly. Multiple pharmaceutical/biotech companies are manufacturing the vaccine, as the goal is to vaccinate as many people as possible. People should contact their doctors to learn more about the vaccine and how and when it can be administered.
What are the signs and symptoms of COVID-19?
Coronavirus is transmitted when a healthy person comes in close contact with the droplets from a cough, a sneeze or stool aerosols of an infected person.Symptoms can be mild, moderate or severe depending on the extent of infection.
The symptoms become apparent after an average of 5 to 10 days. However, it could also take longer depending on the body’s ability to endure the virus. The human body recognizes foreign pathogens that enter and begins to eliminate them by increasing the body temperature, producing factors that fight against the virus. This is the infectious stage, where a person starts manifesting symptoms such as cough, fever and severe throat pain.
At this stage, the infection is highly contagious and can be actively transferred through droplets, aerosols and secretions. Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Dry cough
- Fever (temperature >98.96°F)
- Throat pain
- Severe pain (back pain, joint pain, headache and muscle ache)
- Conjunctivitis (inflammation of the eyes)
- Memory problems
- Skin rash or discoloration of the fingers or toes
- Loss of smell
- Loss of taste
- Breathing difficulty
- Chest pain or chest discomfort
- Pneumonia (lung infection)
- Lung failure
- Septic shock (low blood pressure, high fever and delirium)
What are the tests for detecting COVID-19?
Multiple tests are available to diagnose COVID-19 infection. Common tests include:
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Cetirizine vs. LoratadineCetirizine (Zyrtec) and loratadine (Claritin) are non-sedating antihistamines used to treat symptoms of allergic reaction such as symptoms of seasonal hay fever (allergic rhinitis) such as sneezing, runny nose, and red/watery/itchy eyes. Both cetirizine and loratadine are available over-the-counter (OTC) and in generic form. Side effects of cetirizine and loratadine that are similar include drowsiness, dry mouth, headache, and fatigue.
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