— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.
With a 70% increase in distribution of the COVID vaccine production across the United States this week, more and more Americans are getting vaccinated every day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that the vaccine is an important measure to prevent against the virus; however, side effects may occur in some people. Common ones include headache, fatigue, nausea, and soreness at the vaccination spot.
“You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection,” the CDC explains. “These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.”
Lauren Schoene, a healthcare worker in Baltimore, says she experienced some of these side effects after she received her vaccination. “I had a sore arm after both the first and second dose; the soreness lasted about two days. The second one also made me feel really tired, but all in all, it was a small bit of discomfort for what I hope is protection from COVID.”
If you or someone you know is about to get your vaccine and wants to prepare for any side effects, below are a few products that may help relieve some of the discomfort, along with two essential items that help slow down the spread of COVID-19. Note that the CDC urges anyone whose side effects worsen after 24 hours or don’t go away within a few days to contact their healthcare provider immediately.
Need help finding products? Sign up for our weekly newsletter. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time.
1. A reusable ice pack
Icing the vaccination spot may provide immediate relief to any aches you’re experiencing. This one from Amazon has over 24,000 rave reviews from people who like that the flexible design allows you to wrap and bend it to fit snugly against any body part (like your upper arm, in this case). They also say it stays ice cold for hours.
Get the FlexiKold Gel Ice Pack from Amazon for $16.99
2. A washcloth to place over your arm
If you notice any discomfort on your arm where you were vaccinated, the CDC recommends laying a clean, cool washcloth on the area. With over 24,000 reviews, these Amazon Basics washcloths are praised for being very soft and absorbent and surprisingly high quality for the price.
Get the Amazon Basics Terry Cotton Washcloths (24-Pack) from Amazon for $18.79
3. Epsom salts for soaking
Epsom salt baths have long been a solution to muscle aches and soreness. So if you feel tender post-vaccine, you might benefit from a soak. These Epsom salts have over 21,500 reviews on Amazon with people saying they provide quick and effective relief and are more affordable than other brands.
Get the Amazon Brand Solimo Epsom Salt Soak from Amazon for $5.96
4. A water bottle to stay hydrated
One of the CDC’s top tips for anyone getting vaccinated is to drink plenty of fluids. An easy way to make sure you’re getting enough H2O? A reusable water bottle. Of all the ones we’ve tested at Reviewed, we found the Brita Stainless Steel Filtering Water Bottle to be the best. It keeps your water refreshingly cold and filters out any odors while you sip.
Get the Brita Stainless Steel Filtering Water Bottle from Amazon for $24.99
5. An ice roller
You can use this ice roller the same way you would an ice pack (i.e., over the sore spot on your arm) or on your forehead if you feel a headache coming on. Its thousands of reviewers love that it’s easy to use—simply chill it and then roll—and that it feels so soothing against your skin.
Get the Esarora Ice Roller from Amazon for $16.99
6. A cooling eye mask
A gel eye mask like this one provides two things that are known to help with headaches: coolness and darkness. The gel can be iced down to mitigate pain or tension and the solid design will block out any irritating light. Reviewers like that it maintains its cold temperature well and that it fits comfortably and snugly over your eyes.
Get the Newgo Gel Eye Mask from Amazon for $9.99
7. A resistance band to stretch your arm
When your arm is sore, the last thing you may feel like doing is using it. But that’s exactly what the CDC recommends, saying that exercising your arm and getting it moving can help relieve some of that pain. With these highly-rated resistance bands—which have over 74,000 reviews—you can do some light stretching and mobility to prevent your arm from getting stiff.
Get the Fit Simplify Resistance Loop Exercise Bands (5-Pack) from Amazon for $7.95
8. Hand sanitizer to take with you
“It’s important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic,” the CDC explains, noting that the vaccine can take up to two weeks to be effective. During that time (and when you’re going to get the vaccine itself), hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol can help keep you safe. These travel-sized Purell are easy to toss in your bag or pocket on your way out the door.
Get the Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Gel (4-Pack) from Amazon for $9.20
9. A face mask to keep you—and your loved ones—safe
Despite the fact that you’re now vaccinated, you still need to take precautions to protect yourself and those around you, the CDC says. One of the best ways to do that is by wearing a face mask. Of all the masks we’ve tested at Reviewed, we like the Athleta face masks the best. They’re breathable, comfortable, and triple-layered for maximum protection.
Get the Everyday Non-Medical Face Mask (5-Pack) from Athleta for $30
The product experts at Reviewed have all your shopping needs covered. Follow Reviewed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest deals, product reviews, and more.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.