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How do I monitor my health after COVID-19 vaccination?

Saturday, August 07, 2021, 10:20 GMT+7
How do I monitor my health after COVID-19 vaccination?
An elderly woman receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health recommends that people monitor their health at home for 28 days after receiving COVID-19 vaccine, with the first week being the most important.

Most people will experience common conditions including headache, fatigue, nausea, fever, dizziness, muscle pain, and rapid heart rate after getting their vaccine shots.

These symptoms usually occur a few hours after the injection and go away on their own without causing any serious health problems.

The Ministry of Health recently issued a document highlighting specific guidance for residents to monitor their health post vaccination.

Ensuring sufficient nutrients

As the vaccine does not take effect immediately, people should maintain a suitable diet, drink plenty of water, and take vitamin supplements after receiving the shots.

They can engage in normal daily activities but should make sure to rest enough and must not overwork themselves.

They should have at least one person who can assist them around the clock for at least three days after the injection.

Alcoholic drinks and stimulants must be avoided for at least three days after the injection.

People must not apply anything on the injection site even when it is swollen. They should monitor the swelling closely and seek medical assistance if it progresses rapidly.

Regular measurement of body temperature is recommended.

Those with a fever at or below 38.5 degrees Celsius should take off some of their clothes, apply a warm towel on the forehead, armpit, and groin, and drink plenty of water. They should not let their body get too cold and should measure their body temperature again after 30 minutes.

People with a fever over 38.5 degrees Celsius should take antipyretic medicine based on the advice of health workers. They should contact the local medical center if the fever is not reduced by the medicine or reoccurs after two hours.

Most post-vaccination reactions are mild to moderate in nature, appearing between six and eight hours after the injection and resolving within one to several days.

Medicine containing paracetamol or acetaminophen are recommended to relieve such symptoms as a fever, headache, and fatigue.

Paying attention to abnormal signs

Residents must immediately go to the nearest hospital if they experience the following symptoms within 28 days after receiving COVID-19 vaccine:

- Continuous high fever at 39 degrees Celsius and over, cyanosis, difficulty breathing, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and extreme fatigue

- Severe headache that worsens and does not respond to pain relievers

- Unusual headache, which worsens when lying down or bending over and may be accompanied by blurred vision, nausea, difficulty speaking, weakness, drowsiness, or seizures

- A rash that looks like minor bruising or bleeding under the skin near the injection site

Statistics from the health ministry showed that 30 percent of residents in Ho Chi Minh City who receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine develop such mild symptoms as fever, diarrhea, and pain at the injection site

About 0.1 percent have more severe reactions including angioedema at the injection site, low pulse pressure, and anaphylaxis, which require prompt treatment.

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