What should you do and avoid after receiving the vaccination?

style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; font-weight: 600;"Thu 16th Dec, 2021

The vaccination campaign continues in Germany. It is clear that the dangers of a Corona infection are to be rated much higher than the dangers of vaccination. In order to also better protect themselves against the new Omicron variant, many people are already getting their third prick. But with the vaccination date also comes some uncertainties. How do I behave after a vaccination? What is allowed? And what should I avoid?

The general rule is to take it easy on the body after the vaccination. Excessive physical exertion and stress should be avoided. This applies to the time after the first and second vaccination as well as to the booster. After the injection, the body needs time to process the vaccine.

Therefore, it is advisable to stress the body as little as possible with additional efforts. This includes, for example, the consumption of alcohol and sporting activities. But a differentiation should be made.

Can I drink alcohol after a vaccination?

In principle, alcohol has no great influence on immune protection, explains virologist Sandra Ciesek. However, she advises refraining from excessive alcohol consumption around a vaccination appointment. "Large amounts of alcohol are, after all, poison for the body. And if the body is busy with the immune defense after vaccination, one should not load it also still with toxins", explains Ciesek in the NDR podcast "The Coronavirus Update".

Around the vaccination means in the case at least on the day of the vaccination itself. There is evidence that heavy alcohol consumption in particular can impair the body's ability to build up immunity.

The Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) takes a similar view. It emphasizes, "Particularly heavy alcohol consumption can limit the immune response to infections and, in the case of vaccinations, possibly also influence the tolerability and effectiveness of the vaccination." On the other hand, there is nothing to be said against a glass of beer or wine.

To summarize:

  • There is nothing wrong with small amounts of alcohol around the vaccination date.
  • However, to protect the immune system, it is advisable to avoid alcohol on the day of vaccination.
  • Larger amounts of alcohol should not be drunk after the vaccination.

Can I smoke after the Corona vaccination?

Just like alcohol, nicotine is considered a toxin that puts a strain on the body. Experts, therefore, advise not to smoke immediately after the vaccination. However, no negative effect on the effect of the vaccination has been proven so far.

Can I do sports after the vaccination?

Similar to the consumption of alcohol and nicotine, the following applies: The body should not be put under additional strain by excessive sporting activity. But here, too, a distinction must be made. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), it is not absolutely necessary to suspend physical activities after the Corona vaccination. The "Information leaflet on vaccination against Corvid-19" states, "After vaccination, you do not need to take special care of yourself." That means everyday tasks can still be performed.

However, the RKI adds, "However, particular stress immediately after vaccination is not necessarily recommended." Here it is advisable to listen to the body. If vaccination reactions occur, such as cold symptoms, fever or headaches, and aching limbs, sports should be avoided during this time. These symptoms can occur especially with the second and third vaccination and are a sign of the strain on the immune system. Sports place an additional burden on the immune system. As soon as the symptoms have subsided, sporting activity can be resumed.

This is also the argument of internist Beate Sauter. She recommends not doing any competitive sports on the day of the vaccination. "On the days after, you make it depend on how you feel. If my arm hurts, I don't necessarily have to play tennis. And if I feel wimpy, maybe I shouldn't necessarily go jogging. You just have to listen to your body," she told Bavarian Broadcasting.

Can I work after the vaccination?

As long as it is not a very physical job, working is not a problem. Again, you should listen to your body. In case of listlessness, fatigue or pain, it is better to rest. In this case, it is possible to take a sick leave. The Ministry of Health states: "If an employee is unable to work for a short time due to a vaccination reaction, the employer bears the costs incurred. In this case, the conditions of regular sick leave under labor law apply."

To summarize:

  • After the vaccination, normal everyday life can continue.
  • Greater physical stress should be avoided on the day of the vaccination.
  • If vaccination reactions occur, such as flu-like symptoms, sports activity should be avoided during this time.

After the Corona vaccination, good sleep is all the more important. Sleep physician Dr. Hans-Günter Weeß says in an interview with t-online that everyone should take great care to get enough sleep the night after their vaccination. Thus the vaccination effect is promoted, explains the expert.

Photo by Eugene Chystiakov


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