Take a look at the viral COVID-19 vaccination advice from a doctor in Singapore, and find out what the FACTS really are!
COVID-19 Vaccination Advice By Singapore Doctor?
This is the COVID-19 vaccination advice from a doctor in Singapore that has gone viral on WhatsApp.
COVID-19 Vaccination Advice By Singapore Doctor : More Viral BS
First of all, just because a viral message says that the advice was given by a doctor in Singapore does not mean :
a) it was actually given by a doctor in Singapore.
b) it must be true because a Singapore doctor said so.
The truth is – this is yet another piece of viral fake news circulating on WhatsApp. And here are the facts…
Fact #1 : Have A Meal Before Getting Vaccinated
Frankly, having a meal before getting any vaccination is NOT necessary.
Did you ever bother to have a meal before the many other vaccinations in the past? So why should we have a meal before getting vaccinated against COVID-19?
This advice though is now necessary because of the fear and anxiety that has permeated COVID-19 vaccinations.
Having a meal before vaccination can help avoid fainting after vaccination – what’s known as a vasovagal syncope.
You do not have to have a full or large meal. Just a snack would do. Eat something that brings you comfort, which would relieve any anxiety you may feel.
Fact #2 : Drinking Water Does Not Prevent Postvaccination Syncope
Now, a 2017 study showed that even drinking 250 ml or 500 ml of water before vaccination did NOT reduce the risk of presyncope (feeling lightheaded / dizzy) or syncope (fainting).
So the Singapore doctor’s advice to drink 250 ml of water before COVID-19 vaccination is not based on evidence. Neither is the advice to drink another 250 ml of water after vaccination.
That said, it is important to stay hydrated before and after vaccination, because dehydration can exacerbate any side effect you may experience.
You do not have to drink any specific amount of water. Just drink enough water to feel refreshed and hydrated.
Fact #3 : Water Is Water, Cold Or Not
The advice not to drink cold water is nonsensical. Water is water, whether it’s cold, room temperature or warm.
The temperature of the water that we consume is “normalised” to our internal body temperature once it reaches our stomach.
So it really does not matter whether you have a cool drink on a hot day, or a warm drink on a cold day, before you get vaccinated.
Fact #4 : Don’t Leave After Vaccination
Vasovagal syncope itself is not dangerous, but you can get injured if it happens while you are standing or walking.
Certain COVID-19 vaccines, like the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines, can trigger a severe allergic reaction in very rare cases.
That’s why it is important that you do NOT leave right after getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
You will be asked to stay in an observation room for 15-30 minutes, before you are allowed to leave.
If you are feeling particularly anxious or worried about the vaccine, you can stay a little longer.
Fact #5 : Side Effects More Common With Second Dose
The second dose of a vaccine will generally produce more side effects, but that does not mean it’s more dangerous.
The first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine teaches your body how to identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus, so your body can learn how to make antibodies against it.
The second dose basically gives your immune system a kick, telling it, “This is not a one-time infection. It’s dangerous!”
It triggers memory B cells to remember the SARS-CoV-2 antigen, and a more robust response by the immune system.
It is this heightened immune response that produces the side effects – fever, headache, fatigue, etc.
This is how our immune system learns to protect us from COVID-19.
Fact #5 : Call The Hospital First About Side Effects
The advice to head to the hospital if your post-vaccination fever persists beyond two days is nonsensical.
We all have different immune responses to the vaccine, so you don’t have to worry if you only have a mild fever even if it persists to the third day.
If you are worried about any side effect, contact the health authorities or the hospital first.
Let them advise you on what to do, whether they should send an ambulance or you should continue to monitor your condition at home.
DO NOT just go to the hospital by yourself, as the Singapore doctor advised.
You could expose yourself to COVID-19 from people who are seeking treatment but unaware that they are positive for COVID-19.
Fact #6 : You Can Carry On With Your Life After Vaccination
Let me be clear – you were just vaccinated against COVID-19, not convicted of a crime.
There is no need to refrain from walking or exercise for 5 days, as this Singapore doctor advises.
If healthcare workers who were vaccinated can carry on with their daily work, you too can carry on with your life after your COVID-19 vaccination.
Fact #7 : You Must Continue To Take COVID-19 Precautions
Even after you receive the second dose, you must continue to take COVID-19 precautions.
The Singapore doctor is correct that generally, you will only get maximum protection from the vaccine about two weeks after the second dose.
This varies with the vaccine, of course, but the point is – it takes time for your immune system to boost its response to the vaccine.
So you must continue to take COVID-19 vaccine precautions even after you receive your second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Fact #8 : We Must Take Precautions Until Herd Immunity Achieved
Vaccines are like training boot camps for our immune system, teaching it how to identify and fight against pathogens.
And while your immune system may be trained against COVID-19, it doesn’t mean it will always win the battle. That’s why people are so obsessed with vaccine efficacy rates.
So you could still get infected after being fully vaccinated. This is known as a vaccine breakthrough infection.
The good news is even if it happens to you – it will generally be a much milder disease, and you will likely not need to get hospitalised.
Breakthrough infections happen because there is no herd immunity. So we must continue to take COVID-19 precautions until we achieve herd immunity.
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