Ever since vaccination for teenagers in the age group of 15-18 years started in India, there has been some confusion about the requirement to take paracetamol or any painkiller to help ease the side-effects. Clearing the air, experts state that there is no need for any medicine after the Covid jab.
In an official statement, vaccine manufacturer of Covaxin Bharat Biotech said, “We have received feedback that certain immunisation centres are recommending taking three paracetamol 500 mg tablets along with Covaxin for children. No paracetamol or pain killers are recommended after being vaccinated with Covaxin.”
— BharatBiotech (@BharatBiotech) January 5, 2022
“Paracetamol was recommended along with certain other Covid-19 vaccines, but is not recommended for Covaxin,” it added.
As per the manufacturer, in its clinical trials spanning 30,000 individuals, approximately 10-20 per cent of individuals reported side-effects. “Most of these are mild, resolve within 1-2 days, and do not require medication. Medication is only recommended after you consult a physician,” it said.
Experts maintain that experiencing mild fever, chills, headache, or fatigue after the dose of Covid-19 vaccine means that the immune system is beginning to kick in effectively. Therefore, painkillers must be avoided to ensure the “strongest possible immune response”.
Dr Col Vijay Dutta, senior consultant, Internal Medicine, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre told indianexpress.com that any medication, post vaccination, is not recommended as it has the “potential to cause hepatotoxicity”. “Giving Paracetamol to children (15-18 years old) who are receiving Covid vaccines is not recommended. It is because it has the potential to cause hepatotoxicity (liver damage caused by drug exposure). If children develop a fever after receiving the Covid vaccine, they should be given Mefenamic acid or Meftal syrup. Adults over the age of 18 years who have a fever after receiving the Covid vaccine are safe to take paracetamol,” Dr Dutta said.
Dr Sonam Solanki, consultant pulmonologist and bronchoscopist, Masina Hospital, Byculla, Mumbai said that “taking paracetamol just because you have been vaccinated is not recommended”. “Also, not everyone will develop a headache, fever or body ache. Only 10-20 per cent of children developed side effects during trials. Don’t prescribe it as a blanket measure. Only if you develop a side-effect or a documented fever then you can consult the physician and decide whether you need the paracetamol or not,” Dr Solanki highlighted.
As per World Health Organization (WHO), taking painkillers before receiving the Covid-19 vaccine to prevent side-effects is also not recommended. “This is because it is not known how painkillers may affect how well the vaccine works,” it read on its website.
Earlier, a February 8, 2021 article in Elemental journal noted how it’s not yet known if painkillers can interfere with the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines. “So, it’s best to skip painkillers if you can,” it read.
As per WHO, even after you’re vaccinated, keep taking precautions
“While a Covid-19 vaccine will prevent serious illness and death, we still don’t know the extent to which it keeps you from being infected and passing the virus on to others. The more we allow the virus to spread, the more opportunity the virus has to change,” it reads.
Continue to take actions to slow, and eventually stop, the spread of the virus.
*Keep at least 1 metre distance from others
*Wear a mask, especially in crowded, closed and poorly ventilated settings.
*Clean your hands frequently.
*Cover any cough, or sneeze in your bent elbow.
*When indoors with others, ensure good ventilation, such as by opening a window.