Five things not to do after taking your COVID-19 vaccination

Following these tips can help mitigate the side effects you may experience after receiving your jab.

Low Jia Ying

Can be found watching true crime documentaries or tending to my growing collection of houseplants.

Published: 6 July 2021, 4:45 PM

With the Singapore government’s goal to get more than two-thirds of the population fully vaccinated by National Day, many more Singaporeans will be invited to receive their COVID-19 doses.

However, there are precautions to be taken after you receive your vaccination in order to mitigate potential side effects.

Being aware of these precautions may help prevent severe consequences to your health.

A 16-year-old boy who received his first dose of the vaccine is currently in critical condition after suffering a cardiac arrest. He was engaging in strenuous weightlifting six days after receiving his vaccine.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has revised some of its recommendations, saying that anyone who has received any dose of an mRNA COVID-19 should avoid strenuous physical activities for one week.

To help mitigate potential side effects, here are five things not to do after taking your COVID-19 vaccination:

1. Strenuous exercise

MOH has also further clarified that activities such as swimming, cycling, running, playing ball or racquet games, and lifting heavy weights should be avoided one week post-vaccination.

Competitive sports and physical education classes should also be avoided as they are considered strenuous activities.

Adolescents and younger men below the age of 30 should take extra precaution in avoiding these activities so as to avoid potential health risks.

MOH also recommends that if during the week, one develops any chest pain, shortness of breath or abnormal heart beats, that they should seek medical attention immediately.

2. Drinking alcohol

MOH also recommends avoiding alcohol for 12 to 24 hours after getting vaccinated.


Consuming alcohol affects sleep quality. It is important to get ample rest after your vaccination. PHOTO CREDIT: KELLY SIKKEMA VIA UNSPLASH


Alcohol can cause dehydration and worsen nausea. Having a hangover can also make vaccination side effects feel a lot worse.

3. Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

MOH recommends that vaccinated people should also avoid taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain or fever after vaccination.

Common NSAIDs include medications like ibuprofen, naproxen, and diclofenac.

If you are experiencing pain or having a fever after receiving your vaccine, take paracetamol instead.

4. Get a tattoo or piercing

As a precaution, you should also avoid booking tattoo or piercing appointments soon after receiving your vaccination.


Some experts recommend delaying tattoo and piercing appointments after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. PHOTO CREDIT: LUCAS LENZI VIA UNSPLASH


Tattoos and piercings introduce foreign substances in your body, and may trigger an immune response. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine also stimulates an immune response, which you may not want to experience together with an immune response from the tattoo or piercing.

5. Not visiting a doctor if side effects persist

MOH also recommends that you should see a doctor if your side effects persist or get worse.

Some common side effects include fevers, headaches, swelling at injection site, or lymph node swelling at neck or arms.

However, if you are experiencing more serious allergic reactions, do seek medical attention immediately by calling 995 or going to A&E.

Severe allergic reactions include having difficulty breathing, swelling of your face, throat, eyes or lips, a fast heartbeat, dizziness and weakness, a bad rash all over your body.

By following these precautions, you can mitigate the negative side effects of getting vaccinated.

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