Coronavirus vaccination has emerged as one of the primary keys to leveraging life in this pandemic. Be it any vaccine you get, the take-home message is to get vaccinated, and keep following appropriate norms to maximise immune protection. As with the vaccination itself, there are some do’s and don’ts that experts recommend to minimize side effects and keep the vaccine doing its job well.
While some of the basic rules dictate to not stress the body out before or after the vaccine and avoid the use of excessive painkillers, some experts also suggest that those who have been vaccinated should avoid rubbing the injection site too much, and as a measure, avoid putting excess pressure on the area too.
Even though pain at the injection site is something which is the most typical of vaccination side-effects, massaging the area is also something not routinely suggested with other vaccines.
Post-vaccination, soreness and stiffness experienced at the site of injection are one of the commonly discussed vaccine side-effects. The soreness and redness, which can also come up in the form of extreme ‘COVID arm’ can last for days and make it difficult for a person to move the upper arm, where the vaccine has been injected.
As trivial as it is, soreness and pain at the site are considered to be a localized reaction to the vaccine injection, the effects which start in at the exact spot where the vaccine is given. The reaction that initiates arm soreness is an example of how the body first takes the vaccine to be. When you get the shot, the body considers it to be an injury, much like a bleed and sends immune cells to the arm and relaxes the blood vessels.
As a part of the process, the immune cells also cause inflammation at the site, that later helps to protect against the same pathogen if you are encountering it again. This is what is called as a ‘reactogenicity’ of the vaccine.
Some of the irritation at the arm also comes from the muscle reacting to the small quantity of vaccine that was injected.
Apart from soreness, some people also experiences redness, irritation and swelling near the injection site.
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