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VERIFY: Working out after a COVID-19 vaccine won't lessen its effectiveness

While there's no official recommendation, our experts say there's no evidence that says you need to hold off on working out after getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

WASHINGTON — Millions of Americans are getting vaccinated every day. According to the CDC, the 7-day average for doses administered every day has passed 2.5 million. 

With more people signing up for appointments, more misinformation spreads about what you can and can't do after getting the vaccine. Some websites claim exercising might "affect the flow of the vaccine." We brought that claim to our experts.

QUESTION:

Will exercising after getting the vaccine lessen the efficacy? How long after getting the shot can you go to the gym?

ANSWER:

There’s no evidence that says exercising after getting the shot will have an effect on your immune response. You're fully protected two weeks after your final dose, but our experts recommend masking, distancing, and even continuing to work out at home.

SOURCES:

  • Dr. William Moss, Executive Director of the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Dr. William Schaffner, Professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University
  • Dr. Linda Nabha, infectious diseases expert

PROCESS:

There is no official recommendation on exercising after getting the vaccine from the CDC. But while vaccine side effects might make it uncomfortable, our experts say it's perfectly fine to work out after you get your shot.

"Exercising before or after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will not impact the protection afforded by the vaccine. One can exercise right after receiving the vaccine and any change in blood flow will not impact the vaccine response," Dr. William Moss says. 

"Some people have soreness at the site of injection or do not feel well after vaccination, and this may hinder their desire or ability to exercise."

Dr. Linda Nabha agrees.

"The most important thing is to listen to your body and hold off especially if you are having side effects from the vaccine," she says. "In general, most physicians will recommend holding off on vigorous exercise 1-2 days after receiving the vaccine, you don't want your body to be in overdrive. if you are someone who is active, light walking and light exercise should be ok."

As for when you can go back to the gym or your favorite workout class, officials say you've reached full immunity two weeks after your final shot. That would be your second Pfizer or Moderna, or your single Johnson & Johnson shot.

RELATED: VERIFY: Here's how long it takes to gain full immunity from each vaccine

Dr. William Schaffner says while that's true, he recommends being as safe and cautious as possible.

"You still need to be careful, wear your mask and observe social distancing, he says. "We all will need to get vaccinated and be careful for at least a couple more months before the “all clear” is sounded.  For now, please do your workouts either at home or out-of-doors."