Tips and Tricks for Dealing with Pfizer Side Effects

After receiving my second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this past weekend, I’ve learned a lot of things in retrospect that I should have thought of before the storm of side effects came. I feel like it is my civic duty to share what I learned with all of my peers who will be receiving their own second doses in the coming weeks. 

  1. 1. Do not plan on doing anything the day after your shot

    Don’t make the same mistake I did. Don’t think you’re going to get homework done on the day after your shot, because you think you’ll have so much “free time.” My side effects from the vaccine were fatigue, body aches, and a fever. Although I thought I would get some small assignments done when I wasn’t feeling well, the reality was that I was so exhausted that I could barely sit up for too long without falling back or shutting my eyes. Take the time to rest and let your body adjust to the vaccine, because you’re not going to feel like doing anything but just sit there. 

  2. 2. Drink lots of water immediately after your shot

    When I got my shot, the nurse told me that they recommend increasing your fluid intake after the shot. As I’m sure you can guess, I did not listen. That was a huge mistake. When I was at the height of my fatigue and pain, I did not want to ingest anything, including water, so make sure you fill up before the side effects set in. 

  3. 3. Eat plenty of food before

    Pretty smoothie bowl surrounded by fruit.

    On the theme of filling up, make sure you eat in the twelve hours before you start feeling really sick! I had a complete loss of appetite on the day following my shot, which wasn’t as big of a deal on the day of. However, the day after I had my side effects, when I was feeling healthy again, I started to become exhausted again because I hadn’t eaten anything the day prior. Planning ahead will save you plenty of headaches in the future.

  4. 4. Find a comfortable place to camp out for the day

    laptop in bed

    Going to the bathroom felt like a job when I was at the height of my side effects. Moving took up all of the energy I had, so make sure you find a spot wherever you are where you can lay down comfortably throughout the day. Make sure you have a pillow and blankets, and keep things for entertainment within arm’s reach as well. Think of it as a short-term, indoor camping trip. 

For me, the side effects of the Pfizer-BioNTech second dose were rough, but I’m still glad I got it. One day of side effects, as annoying as they were, are a great trade-off for protecting myself and those around me from contracting COVID-19. Think about it: once your 24 hours of side effect symptoms are up, you’re exponentially safer from the pandemic that has completely changed our lives for the past year. If you’re getting your second dose soon, rest up!

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