The Covid-19 vacinne is administered to a man over 60. Doctors recommend one sleeps and eats well before the jab. Picture: Ian Landsberg
The Covid-19 vacinne is administered to a man over 60. Doctors recommend one sleeps and eats well before the jab. Picture: Ian Landsberg

Eat and drink healthy foods before and after your Covid-19 vaccination

By Valerie Boje Time of article published Jun 15, 2021

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WITH more and more people over 60 going for their Covid-19 jab, are there any special things one should eat or avoid before or after the appointment?

The general advice to eat healthy food is logical and applies to anyone wanting to stay well, especially during this time of anxiety of contracting Covid-19 as the country is in its third wave, with more than 7000 new confirmed cases a day - double the figure for this time last year.

There have been calls to tighten restrictions on gatherings and movement - perhaps even to return to lockdown level 3 and limit alcohol sales again - to prevent the spread of the virus as hospital beds fill up.

The national vaccination rollout suffered a setback with the need to destroy Johnson & Johnson vaccines which were found to have been contaminated but Aspen has announced that 300 000 doses intended for teachers and other school staff have arrived and are due for release soon.

This would make teachers the first group of workers, after healthcare workers in Phase 1, to be vaccinated with the J & J single-dose vaccine and help to ensure the smooth running of basic education in the country in the second half of the year.

The rollout for over 60s is progressing well. To date, the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine has been administered to about 1.3million people at sites countrywide.

Around half the five million South Africans over the age of 60 have registered for a vaccine with the highest number being in Gauteng and the hope is that by the time the second doses are due, everyone who qualifies will have registered.

More sites both public and private are being added as the uptake increases. To date the provinces with the highest vaccine numbers for Phase 2 of the rollout are KwaZulu-Natal with 332 217 people vaccinated, and Gauteng with 323 321.

New occupational health and safety directives from the Department of Employment and Labour will allow an employer to implement a workplace vaccination policy subject to specific guidelines. It is expected that large-scale employers will be keen to set up sites for their employees, especially those at risk due to their job role or those who have comorbidities.

The Covid-19 vacinne is administered to a man over 60. Doctors recommend one sleeps and eats well before the jab. Picture: Ian Landsberg

If you will be getting your vaccine shot soon, experts advise that vaccines are effective without any special nutritional preparation but recommend nutritious anti-inflammatory whole foods, less processed foods, plenty of water and rest.

A healthy diet of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and protein sources is recommended for good health and, at the same time, one should cut down on red meat and dairy, and avoid alcohol the day before and day after the vaccination.

While some people experience symptoms like fever, nausea, or muscle pain after being vaccinated, doctors say it’s a sign that the vaccine is working and your body is building immunity.

Try and get a good night’s sleep before your appointment and have a light snack before leaving home to avoid feeling dizzy. Take along a bottle of water and stay hydrated.

If you feel unwell at the vaccination site there are staff on hand to assist and there is nothing wrong with having a lie-down when you get home after receiving the vaccination, the experts say.

The WHOs Dr Kate O’Brien said after the first dose, a good immune response kicks in within about two weeks, but it is the second dose that boosts the response and immunity becomes stronger.

She has urged those offered a vaccine to take it, regardless of the type of vaccine as all in use have been demonstrated to be safe, efficacious and are manufactured with high quality.

The clinical trials demonstrated that these vaccines protect people against disease but one must continue to take precautions such as wearing a mask in public and observing social distancing, she advised.

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