Should You Massage Vaccine Injection Site? (Massage Monday #543)

I recently got a vaccination for Shingles. It was first of the two shots. Shingles happens when you’ve had chickenpox in the past and the same virus that causes chickenpox gets reactivated. It’s common after 50 years of age and I’ve seen and heard of horrible stories of painful rash and blisters. So I wanted to lower the chance of getting it.

I had a choice of getting the vaccination in the arm or thigh and I chose thigh because I use the arm for massage. When I got the shot, it wasn’t that painful but in few hours it felt like my entire thigh was hard and very painful. I couldn’t lift my leg and I was limping for several days. I was still working and when I was massaging my ex-nurse client, she told me it helps to massage the site of vaccination to disperse the foreign object that was injected, so it wouldn’t be so concentrated in one spot to cause the pain. I had never heard of that.

So with the COVID vaccination I wanted to know if it’s also true that it helps to massage the injection site and the answer was no because there aren’t enough studies done. Then I started seeing conflicting articles on whether you should massage the injection site or not in general. I am not a medical professional so I know nothing about the kinds of vaccinations or if there are any differences in how they are administered. If you are a medical professional and can shine a light on this topic, I would appreciate it.

One of the latest articles dated February 24th 2021 says:

  • Don’t massage the injection site: Both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are delicate. While you may have been encouraged to massage your arms following other vaccinations, studies have not been done on the effect on these vaccines. Here’s the link to the article How to make the vaccination process as effective as possible.

So from what I’ve seen, whenever I choose to get other vaccines, I would ask the medical professional whether they recommend to massage the injection site or not after the shot.

I believe vaccination is a choice and I’m not going to debate about it. I just want to know if it’s good or bad to massage the injection site.

Massage Monday #543 Should I Massage Vaccine Injection Site?