Why is the COVID vaccine administered in the upper arm? Let’s explore the reasons behind this practice

Why COVID Vaccine Is Given On Upper Arm? Let’s Find Out

Why COVID Vaccine Is Given On Upper Arm? Let’s Find Out

Almost 80% of India’s population has received full vaccination against COVID-19, with booster doses being administered to certain groups to protect against the virus and its variants. During vaccination, have you ever wondered why the injection is specifically given in the upper arm and not elsewhere? To uncover the rationale behind this practice, we consulted Dr. Shrey Srivastav, Senior Resident in Internal Medicine at Sharda Hospital, Greater Noida. If you’re also curious about why the COVID vaccine is administered in the arm, read on to discover the full explanation.

What’s the Reason for Administering the COVID Vaccine in the Upper Arm

Dr. Srivastav explains that COVID-19 vaccines are administered into the upper arm muscle, specifically the deltoid muscle, because it offers several advantages. The deltoid muscle has thin layers between the muscle and skin, facilitating efficient injection. Moreover, muscles have a rich blood supply, aiding in the dispersion of vaccine antigens throughout the body. These antigens are then picked up by immune cells called dendritic cells, which carry them to the lymph nodes. Here, the antigens trigger an immune response, leading to the production of antibodies.

Why Covid vaccine is given on upper arm

In simpler terms, injecting the vaccine into a muscle ensures widespread distribution of its antigens throughout the body, priming the immune system to recognize and fight the virus. This helps in preventing severe complications from COVID-19 by bolstering the body’s defenses against the virus, which can enter through various routes.

Decreased Chance of Adverse Reactions Following Vaccination

In addition to enhancing the immune response, administering the vaccine in the upper arm also reduces the likelihood of adverse reactions post-vaccination. This intramuscular approach stimulates antibody production effectively. If the vaccine is injected elsewhere, it could lead to acute and prolonged pain, along with potential complications such as vomiting and inflammation. Moreover, injecting the vaccine dose into the designated muscle ensures proper circulation of antigens throughout the body, maximizing the vaccine’s benefits.

Is it possible to administer the vaccine in locations other than the arms

Why Covid vaccine is given on upper arm

Is it permissible to administer vaccines in areas other than the arms? While adults typically receive vaccinations in their arms, children are often vaccinated in their thighs. This practice is due to the smaller muscle size in children’s arms, which could potentially hinder the distribution of antigens throughout the body. As a result, children under the age of three are often injected in the thighs.

Another factor to consider is that COVID-19 vaccines are administered in open spaces, and rolling up sleeves for vaccination is more practical than rolling up pant legs. Acceptability and convenience are also important factors when vaccinating large populations in a single location.