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Pain relievers may dull effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccine, experts warn


Experts are warning that over-the-counter pain relievers such as Aspirin, Tylenol or ibuprofen could dull the effectiveness of coronavirus vaccines.

As the US continues to roll out vaccines from both Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna to the general public, recipients have reported minor side-effects like temporary pain that have driven some to take preventative over-the-counter painkillers before inoculation.

But several experts who spoke with ABC News Wednesday warn that this practice may hinder the body’s ability to form the antibodies that protect against COVID-19.


“We do not recommend premedication with ibuprofen or Tylenol before COVID-19 vaccines due to the lack of data on how it impacts the vaccine-induced antibody responses,” Dr. Simone Wildes, an infectious disease expert and member of Massachusetts’ COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group, told the network.

The worries stem from a study conducted at Duke University which found that children who took painkillers before getting routine vaccinations produced fewer antibodies.

The CDC also released guidelines that advise people who have received the vaccine to monitor their side effects and try natural methods of pain relief before resorting to pain killers.

“If fever, chills, headaches develop after injection use pain relievers to help with your symptoms, but not before they develop and report any significant side effects to a medical professional,” Dr. Wildes said.

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