Mighty Blog

COVID-19 vaccines and antibiotics: answers to new common questions

Last updated on Sept. 23, 2021.

As distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine continues around the world, many people have questions— including whether the vaccine affects antibiotics.

All you have to do is Google questions such as, “can you take antibiotics after COVID vaccine,” or “will antibiotics affect COVID vaccine,” and the results speak for themselves. The latter question alone has more than 49 million search results— and counting.

We did a similar online search, and discovered what credible health organizations have to say about antibiotics and COVID-19 vaccines.

Will antibiotics affect the COVID-19 vaccine?

The answer to this question may be short and simple according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC says, Do not withhold vaccination if a person is taking antibiotics” according to the organization’s Prevaccination Checklist for COVID-19 Vaccines form. You’ll find that response within the Are you feeling sick today?” section.

This online PDF is designed to ask patients specific questions to help providers determine if there is any reason why that person should not get the COVID-19 vaccine the day of their appointment.

The CDC’s Prevaccination Checklist also explains:

  • There is no evidence that acute illness reduces vaccine efficacy or increases vaccine adverse events.
  • Mild illnesses are NOT contraindications, or reasons to not vaccinate.
  • As a precaution with moderate or severe acute illness, all vaccines should be delayed until the illness has improved.

Can you take antibiotics after getting the COVID-19 vaccine?

This is a question many people have right now: can I take antibiotics after getting the COVID-19 vaccine?

According to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), “There is no influence or interaction between antibiotics and COVID-19 vaccines, so when indicated, antibiotics may be taken at any time relative to COVID-19 vaccine administration.”

This means that getting the COVID-19 vaccine will not interfere with any antibiotics you may be taking and vice versa.  It’s important to note this as Children’s Minnesota encourages everyone who is eligible to get the vaccine to do to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Can I take over-the-counter medications after the COVID-19 vaccine?

Side effects of the vaccine; such as injection site soreness, arm soreness and body aches; are normal as your body is building immunity. People often wonder, can I take over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help relieve these possible side effects?

The answer is: yes. If you experience pain or discomfort after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, it’s OK to use these over-the-counter medications to help relieve your pain or discomfort. It is not recommended to take these types of anti-inflammatory before the COVID vaccine as a pre-medication, as it may lower the immune response to the vaccine. Anyone routinely on these medications for medical reasons should talk with their provider on whether to hold the doses for the day prior to vaccination.

Alexandra Rothstein