Can You Take Acetaminophen After Getting The COVID-19 Vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccine can help protect you from contracting the coronavirus and potentially spreading it to others. Although the vaccine is safe and effective, you may experience some mild side effects a few hours after receiving the injection (via Healthline). Common side effects of the vaccine include headaches, fever, chills, fatigue, and pain and swelling near the injection site. These side effects are harmless and are actually a sign that the vaccine is working. However, they may cause temporary pain and discomfort.

If you experience any of these symptoms after getting the COVID-19 vaccine, you can take over the counter pain relievers like acetaminophen, or Tylenol, to help ease any soreness or discomfort (via Best Life). Since there is currently no scientific evidence to suggest that taking acetaminophen after getting vaccinated will interfere with the vaccine's effectiveness, it is perfectly safe to take a low dose of acetaminophen every six hours or so.

Should you take acetaminophen before you get the vaccine?

While acetaminophen can be taken to relieve any mild side effects you may experience after getting vaccinated, you should avoid taking pain relievers prior to getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Taking any over the counter medications in anticipation of possible vaccine side effects may dampen your body's immune response to the vaccine (via CNBC). That's because your body responds to vaccines through controlled inflammation.

When you get vaccinated, your body develops an immune response to the genetic material of a non-infectious piece of the virus, which triggers the production of antibodies and inflammatory mediators. Your body's inflammatory response is what causes the vaccine's side effects in the first place. Taking pain relievers shortly before getting the vaccine, however, may reduce the production of inflammatory mediators and lessen your immune response to the vaccine. Although further research is needed to confirm this, it's best to avoid taking acetaminophen or any other over-the-counter pain relievers before getting vaccinated. But like we said, feel free to take something afterwards if you're experiencing any discomfort.