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How to boost the benefit of the COVID-19 vaccine

Experts suggest exercise and avoiding painkillers

Doctors say vigorous exercise can help the COVID-19 vaccine circulate in the body, and they recommend holding off on using pain killers unless someone has a substantial reaction to the first dose.
Doctors say vigorous exercise can help the COVID-19 vaccine circulate in the body, and they recommend holding off on using pain killers unless someone has a substantial reaction to the first dose.

AVENTURA, Fla. – As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues, more people are having the chance to get the shot and experts say there are some simple ways to boost the benefit of vaccinations.

Several studies have looked into the impact of vigorous exercise prior to vaccination and found that if done within a 24-hour period, it can improve the body’s immune response.

“What exercise does is increases your heart rate, it increases your blood pressure, increases your blood flow and it also helps to relax people,” said cardiologist Dr. Leonard Pianko. “So you have two things going on; one is increased blood flow which helps the vaccine circulate in the body.”

And when it comes to dealing with potential pain or discomfort following a COVID-19 vaccine, health experts are expressing caution.

In an effort to avoid the reported discomfort after getting a shot, some people are taking over-the-counter pain relievers beforehand.

While these drugs may dull the pain, infectious disease specialists say medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen could also reduce antibody levels, which could, in turn, reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine.

The recommendation from preventative medicine experts is to hold off on pain killers unless you have a substantial reaction to the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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About the Authors:

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.