Can You Take Antibiotics When You Get The COVID-19 Vaccine?

As many line up for COVID-19 vaccines, it has sparked questions about the vaccine's safety and efficacy with other medications.

While experts have warned against taking over-the-counter medications before your vaccine in an effort to prevent you from experiencing symptoms, they have said medications you take on a daily basis are OK on the day of your vaccine.

But that leaves the question about the specific timing of taking antibiotics and if it is safe to take it at any time during the COVID-19 vaccination process. The answer is yes — it is safe to take at any time, as both the COVID-19 vaccine and your antibiotics will work simultaneously. 

The reasoning is the differences between a vaccine and an antibiotic. The COVID-19 vaccine "trains" your immune system to identify and fight off the COVID-19 virus quickly and effectively (via Antibiotic Research UK). In contrast, antibiotics kill the bacteria that cause infections in your body, meaning your antibiotics do not impact the COVID-19 vaccine or the COVID-19 virus itself. The vaccine also does not affect any type of bacterial infection you may have, or the efficacy of the antibiotics you are using to treat the infection.

When you should be careful about antibiotics and vaccinations

Since the antibiotics and virus do not interact, there is no influence on a specific timing you should take antibiotics in regards to your COVID-19 vaccine shot (via National Foundation for Infectious Diseases). It is also important to note that none of the vaccines contain the live COVID-19 virus or any component that causes COVID-19.

However, there are some prescription drugs particularly affecting the immune system that may impact the COVID-19 vaccine's effectiveness. Cancer chemotherapies or HIV and autoimmune disease prescription drugs may have an effect on the COVID-19 vaccine's efficacy, according to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

If you have concerns about your antibiotics and receiving your COVID-19 vaccine, it is best to consult with your medical team to discuss your options. Even if the vaccination doesn't entirely prevent COVID-19, it can prevent a more serious case resulting in hospitalization or death. Prescriptions used to treat other health conditions will continue to work if you take them as directed.