Fact-Sheet: What You Need to Know Before, After Taking COVID-19 Vaccine

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Many Gambians have so far taken the COVID-19 vaccination. Rumors around what you should do before and after are spreading with each passing day.

For many the COVID-19 vaccine could not come fast enough, but others understand they may have questions about the vaccination process and what to expect when it comes to their turn.

To find out about the vaccination process and tips on what you can do before, during and after, Fact Check Gambia spoke to Saikou Omar Sillah, Gambia COVID-19 Risk Communication and Community Engagement Team.

(i) Before taking the vaccine:

Mr. Sillah said the vaccines have a common goal and advised that before going to the vaccination site, one should eat a good meal and drink lots of water. “Some people had the notion of taking painkillers before taking the vaccine to prevent you from fever or body aches”. He said that is not recommended and people should avoid it.

He added that when people reach the vaccination facility, they should rest for a while before proceeding to get the jab.

“It is not recommended for people with high fever to take the vaccine; you may want to wait until the fever goes down.”

(ii) After you have been Vaccinated:

Mr. Sillah said people who have a history of severe allergic reactions and underlying health conditions are always required to wait 30 minutes after vaccination. This is important because the medical team is on site to observe allergic reactions as well as vasovagal reactions.

Everyone receiving a coronavirus vaccination waits 15 minutes post vaccination.

  1. Is it safe to mix different brands of the COVID19 vaccines?

Saikou said up to this moment, there is no evidence that has been monitored for the mixing and matching of these vaccines in The Gambia. Certainly, when evidence becomes available, the WHO will advise accordingly.

But at this moment, WHO has seriously warned against mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines because of its uncertainty over safety and efficacy.

“Those who took the AstraZeneca first dose and yet to receive the second dose should stay calm, no rush for a different brand as the Government is doing its best to have the adequate supply of the vaccine before the end of August.”

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