Can I safely take medication before getting the COVID-19 vaccine?

Coronavirus Updates

A medical staff member prepares the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Tudor Ranch in Mecca, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

(ABC4) — Many people need to take medications for physical and mental health reasons, but can certain medications interfere with the COVID-19 vaccine?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people avoid pain medicine like Tylenol or Ibuprofen prior to getting the vaccine. The chance that over-the-counter medications will affect your immune response is unlikely, the Utah Department of Health, UDOH, says, but it is still not known for sure if they can impact the vaccine’s effectiveness.

Experiencing pain after receiving your COVID-19 vaccine? You can take over-the-counter painkillers after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, UDOH says, but the CDC recommends checking with your doctor about it. Other options for managing the pain are exercising your arm, staying hydrated, dressing lightly if you have a fever, or applying a washcloth over where you got the vaccine, CDC says.

But what about antibiotics and long-term medications?

According to the Utah Department of Health, COVID-19 vaccinations were found to be both safe and effective for those taking medication during clinical trials. They say it is important that those taking long-term, daily medications keep taking them unless specifically told to stop by their healthcare professional.

Those who are taking antibiotics and antiviral medications also don’t have to worry- they can safely receive the vaccine while taking their medication.

People who have received passive antibody therapy for COVID-19 can get the vaccine, but they must wait 90 days after their treatment. Currently, there is no data to support that the vaccines are safe or effective for those who have been treated with these therapies.

People who have had COVID-19 can safely get the vaccine, though they should wait until they have finished quarantining and are symptom-free. Some may choose to wait 90 days after being infected with the virus to get the vaccine.

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, visit coronavirus.utah.gov/vaccine

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