The COVID-19 vaccine brings with it protection from the deadly virus, but like all good things, its side effects shouldn’t be overlooked. Medical experts are now warning of a potential side effect of the vaccine that could impact the taste buds: metallic taste.

What is Metallic Taste?

Metallic taste is exactly what it sounds like–a taste that is metallic or metallic-like. It’s a taste that can linger in the mouth after eating or drinking certain foods and beverages. It can also occur without eating or drinking anything, as can be the case after receiving certain vaccines.

How Common is Metallic Taste After Receiving the COVID Vaccine?

Some people do report experiencing a metallic taste after receiving their COVID-19 vaccine, but it is not considered a common side effect. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), less than one percent of people who have received the vaccine have reported having a metallic taste.

What Does a Metallic Taste Feel Like?

A metallic taste can range from mild to strong, and can be described in different ways. For some people, it may have a salty or briny consistency. Others may say that it’s similar to the taste of metal, such as aluminum foil.

What Causes Metallic Taste After the COVID Vaccine?

The cause of the metallic taste after receiving the COVID vaccine is still being studied, but some theories suggest that it is due to an immune response. Some experts believe that the body’s immune system responds to the presence of the vaccine’s active ingredients by triggering an inflammatory response. This response leads to a release of substances that can cause the metallic taste.

Can Metallic Taste be Treated?

Metallic taste can be a temporary side effect, so it doesn’t necessarily require treatment. While it can be unpleasant, it doesn’t typically last more than a few days.

If the metallic taste persists, however, there are some ways to alleviate it. Here are a few tips for reducing metallic taste after the COVID vaccine:

•Suck on hard candy, lemon drops, or peppermints to help reduce the metallic taste.

•Avoid acidic foods or beverages, as these can worsen the metallic taste.

•Drink plenty of water to help flush out any of the compounds that may be causing the metallic taste and to keep your mouth and throat hydrated.

•Brush your teeth with a mild toothpaste to help remove any residue that may be causing the metallic taste.

•Take over-the-counter medication, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to help reduce any inflammation or swelling that may be contributing to the metallic taste.

•Rinse your mouth out with salt water to help reduce any bacteria that may be causing the metallic taste.

When to Seek Medical Attention

In most cases, the metallic taste will dissipate on its own within a few days. But if the metallic taste is accompanied by any other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, or difficulty swallowing, you should seek medical attention.

A metallic taste is a potentially concerning side effect of the COVID vaccine and one that should not be overlooked. It is important to remember that metallic taste is not considered a common side effect of the vaccine, and can typically be alleviated with certain measures. If the metallic taste persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, however, you should seek medical attention.