As vaccinations for older adults begin, patience is the word. Manufacturing of the vaccines is becoming more efficient, producing a continuously increasing number of doses every day. But for now, the vaccines remain scarce. And although every older adult who wants the COVID-19 vaccine will receive one, most older adults will not get their vaccine shots as soon as they are eligible.
As we wait, many have read about the side effects particularly after the second dose and are asking, “Should I take a pain-reliever before the shot?”
The short answer is no. The preliminary studies, although limited, have found taking over-the-counter pain-relieving medication like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) before getting your shot decreased the immune response. The pain-relievers might interfere with the very thing the vaccine is trying to do: Generate a strong immune system response.
“How about taking a pain-reliever after the shot?”
Opinions are mixed, but to play it safe probably not unless you feel you can’t tolerate the side effects. But it is always good to talk to your doctor.
“What can I do to reduce the side effects other than a pain-reliever?”
For arm soreness, if the pain is uncomfortable, apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area where you received the shot — and it can help to use or exercise your arm. For a fever, you can reduce the discomfort by drinking plenty of fluids and dressing lightly. And if you’re tired, you can use my favorite answer to any problem: Take a nap — or a brisk walk could help.
In most cases, discomfort from fever or pain is normal. But call your primary care provider if the redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours, or if your side effects do not seem to be going away after a few days.
If you don’t need to take a pain-reliever, don’t. But for those of you who regularly take one, talk to your doctor.
Since adults 55 and older typically have fewer side effects than younger people, most likely you won’t experience any significant side effects. And all you’ll remember is the peace-of-mind knowing you are better protected.
A short diversion: There are two customers complaining at a restaurant. One woman says, “This food is terrible.” The other replies, “I know, and such small portions!”
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The American artist famously known for his screen-prints of Campbell’s Soup Cans was Andy Warhol. I received correct answers from Sandy Haechrel, Jeannie Pesicka, Barbara Cadwell, Julie Carter, Lana Tepfer, Rhonda Spies, Sandy Lutgens, Liz Nichols, Margo Dameier, Tiiu Vahtel, and Steven Woolpert, this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And last week I missed Keith Clymer.
In the late ‘50s, youth culture was beginning to be depicted on national television: Dobie Gillis, Maynard G. Krebs and this teen sensation. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the parking valet in the television series 77 Sunset Strip who was constantly combing his “piled-high, greasy-styled teen hair”? Email your answer to email@example.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a picture of Dino’s Lodge.
Well, it has been another week, forgetting that I can’t eat a banana with my mask on! Until we meet again, enjoy the winter — spring is just over a month away.
“Art is what you can get away with.” —Andy Warhol
Nutritious Home delivered meals and pick-ups for anyone over 60:
Hood River Valley Adult Center — For Meals-on-Wheels, call 541-386-2060. Pick up a drive-thru meal from 11:30 a.m. until 12:45 p.m.
The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels — Call 541-298-8333 to sign up for home-delivered meals. Call before 10:30 a.m. to pick up a meal at noon at the Mid-Columbia Senior Center.
The Sherman County Senior and Community Center — Call 541-565-3191 by 10:30 a.m. and leave a message with the number of meals needed and names of each person.
Klickitat County Senior Services — Call the Goldendale office (509-773-3757) or the White Salmon office (509-493-3068).
Skamania County Senior Services — Call 509-427-3990.
Seniors of Mosier Valley — Call 541-503-5660 or 541-980-1157 at least one day in advance to order a Grab-N-Go meal. Monday and Wednesdays from 11-11:30 a.m. Pick-up at the Mosier Senior Center. Delivery is also available.