One reason I shared about my COVID-19 experience yesterday was to set-up today’s post, in which I share about my vaccination experience.
My COVID-19 Vaccination Experience
On Tuesday, I received received my first jab. In this post, I want to take about how I got it and my reaction to it.
First, I want to express gratitude to scientists from around the world who labored around the clock to produce multiple effective vaccines in record time. This is a testament to human ingenuity and determination.
How I Got The COVID-19 Vaccine
You may ask how a (relatively) healthy 30-something got the vaccine when so many more eligible people are waiting. One thing I have not shared on this blog (and may offer another potential explanation of how I contracted COVID-19…) is that my wife Heidi is a frontline worker.
Although she already has degrees from Germany, she is completing her nursing studies in California and is serving as a student nurse at an area hospital. She works in COVID-19 units, ICU, and other parts of the hospital (depending upon the day) and I cannot be more proud of her.
Well, her hospital has made it a policy to vaccinate the spouses of all workers. That means me.
So on Tuesday, my father (in his 80s), uncle (in his 90s) and I went to the hospital and received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of me getting jabbed, but the mass vaccinations were taking place in the hospital cafeteria and it would have compromised the privacy of others to include a picture.
My Side Effects To the Vaccine
Some guidelines suggest waiting six months since you have had COVID-19 before getting jabbed. I asked my doctor if I should wait and he said, “No way. Get it as soon as you can.”
While the poke itself was painless, by the end of the day the injection point was extremely sore. I also developed a fairly bad headache and experienced fatigue.
But it was the next day that was really bad. I woke up with intense pain in my shoulder at the injection point, nausea, fatigue, and a splitting headache. My wife was at the hospital so I had to take my son to school. I’m not a diabetic, but stopped at the bakery to pick up a sugary almond croissant after dropping him off, feeling like my body needed sugar.
That helped a little bit, but I was still feeling pretty bad. I popped two Advil and went back to bed. A couple hours later I woke up and was feeling a bit better. The nausea was gone.
I had lunch and then went back to bed. When I woke up in the late afternoon, I was feeling good again. The pain, fatigue, and headache were all gone.
Maybe an epidemiologist can explain why I had far worse symptoms than my father and uncle? Was it because I’ve already had COVID-19?
By the way, my father had a headache and pain the first day/night, but was fine the next day. My uncle had no side effects beyond pain at the injection point.
My second dose is in three weeks. I do plan to get it, even if I already have plenty of antibodies.
I view mass vaccinations as one key to re-opening travel. Get jabbed as soon as you can, but prepare for potential side effects. I trust they will be worthwhile and that the Pfizer jab will be effective against new variants of the virus.
Most of all, I am thankful my father and uncle have now been vaccinated and managed to avoid COVID-19 thus far during the pandemic. We will all remain vigilant, but this extra layer of protection is itself an exercise of vigilance.