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No, drinking water won't lessen COVID-19 vaccine side effects

Two virologists say your body's inflammation response to the COVID-19 vaccine won't be affected by how much water you drink before or after the shot.

Lots of people claim that loading up on fluids prevented them from having side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine. But is that actually true?

To find the answer, we pored through numerous articles and scientific studies and consulted with two nationally-renowned virologists – Dr. Alex Greninger at the University of Washington and Dr. Larry Corey, who’s coordinating the American COVID vaccine effort.

"Unfortunately, the side effects that come from the inflammation response in your arm as the nanoparticles filter through your body is not going to be affected by the amount of fluid you take in,” Corey said.

A 2002 study of hydration and immune cells and a 2017 study about water consumption and vaccines are among the many scientific papers that prove there is no direct correlation between hydration and your immune response.

Age is the only true predictor for side effects.

Our bodies’ immune response – not its immune system, but its response – changes as we get older. That’s why the flu shot is different once you turn 65; it's also why older people tend to suffer fewer side effects from the COVID vaccine.

Being dehydrated is never good for your health. But being overhydrated can cause problems, too.

Like the Goldilocks principle, the amount of water you drink before or after getting your COVID shot (or any vaccine) should be "just right."

"It's probably better to be reasonably hydrated after you take one of the vaccines," Greninger said. "It will help you feel a little better. But I won't oversell it as something that's going to make a major difference. It's really about what's going on with your immune system."

We can verify drinking lots of water won’t make any difference in your response to the COVID vaccine.