[VACCINEWatch]: Does drinking water after vaccination reduce discomfort from side effects?

By March 15, 2021 COVID-19, Health, Vaccine

We came across a voice message that has been “forwarded many times” on WhatsApp:

Below is the voice message, which is 4:08 minutes long and entirely in Mandarin:

Here’s a summary of the pointers the individual made in the voice message:

  1. He talked to an ex-colleague who returned to Hebei, China after losing his job due to the pandemic
  2. According to his ex-colleague, there are methods to reduce discomfort from the side effects that come after vaccination
  3. The most important tip is to eat before getting vaccinated. If you do so, you’ll feel less discomfort after the vaccination as compared to those who didn’t eat
  4. Another important tip is to drink 250cc of warm water before vaccination. Don’t drink cold water
  5. Drink another 250cc of water (warm or room temperature) after vaccination
  6. Research has been done in China and those who felt more discomfort from the side effects after vaccination are those who didn’t drink water and/or eat before vaccination

What are the recommended to-dos before and after vaccination?

When we did a check on the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) website on COVID-19 vaccination, we didn’t see any advice regarding drinking water or eating before/after vaccination.

In the section which talks about possible side effects after vaccination, we only see advice like taking paracetamol and rest being prescribed.

When we did a check on CDC’s website, however, we did see the line “drink plenty of fluids”:

It is important to note that this advice comes under the section of tips to reduce discomfort from fever, which is a possible side effect of the vaccine. Other than this, there is no other mention of drinking a particular amount of water at a particular temperature or eating before vaccination mentioned.

Therefore, while it is true that drinking plenty of fluids in the event you get a fever reduces discomfort, the claim that drinking 250cc of warm water and eating pre-vaccination is a panacea of sorts to reduce the discomfort from the side effects of vaccination is likely false.

However, we reckon there is still no harm in eating and staying well-hydrated pre- and post-vaccination.

Deja vu?

This particular voice message actually reminds us of an article we did at the tail-end of January last year that debunked ‘cures’ for COVID-19, when very little was known about the virus, let alone the vaccine for it.

In that article, we were alerted to a WhatsApp message which suggested that individuals should keep their throats moist and “not let [their] throat dry up” in order to prevent infection.

Similar to the voice message, we see very specific measurements for the amount of water individuals should drink. There is also the advice to drink warm water.

However, this message was debunked by MOH who stated that while there is nothing wrong with drinking water, keeping one’s throat moist does not prevent infection.

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