Important notice: The dialogue in this blog post is 100% my opinion and experience and does not represent any of my employers or the stance on the issues being discussed.
I have been very quiet about my stance on the covid-19 vaccine because as a healthcare administrator who believes in science, I needed to protect my peace. Also, my choice to get the vaccine was not going to change based on dialogue on the internet between those who support vaccines and those who do not.
Thankfully, my employer became a vaccination site and therefore we were able to schedule appointments to get vaccinated if we wanted to. Vaccines were not and still are not mandatory at my job. I reached out to my neurologist (I have epilepsy for those who do not know), for his advice regarding the vaccine and after weighing the risk/benefit, I decided to schedule my first dose.
I have heard a lot of variation in the vaccination experience, so I did want to share mine in case there were people on the fence or looking for someone to relate to.
The way the vaccine clinic is set up, you schedule an appointment, check in and receive your vaccination. Following, you sit for about 15-20 minutes and are released to go after that. The initial dose was painless and very quick. During that day, I did have dull ache in my wrist. I was sure to drink a lot of water. It was recommended to me that I stay hydrated. As the day went on the vaccination site got tender and felt very similar to getting a Tetanus shot. The second day I was very sore. I took the day off of work because I was nervous of how it would react with my epilepsy and did not want to take any chances. My right arm, where I recieved the vaccine, was hard to raise and painful to lift above my shoulder. However, on the third day that discomfort was completely gone.
Based on my colleagues who received the Moderna vaccine as well, this was a normal experience.
Second Vaccine Dose
Approximately 3 weeks later we were able to come in for our second dose. I had my appointment scheduled the second week, so I was able to hear other people’s experience before I got my vaccine. I was pretty nervous because we were educated that flu-like symptoms would be a common reaction. I do not know what my triggers are for my seizures so I get nervous when experiencing new things.
My appointment flowed the same way as my first. Our Infection Control team has done an amazing job ensuring easy access and a smooth process. This second vaccine did sting a little bit going in whereas the first one did not. During my 15 minute wait period, I felt completely normal. During work that day I had the same dull ache feeling in my wrist. My vaccine site began to feel tender again as well. When I woke up on day two, I had two lumps on my arm. One around my injection site and then a smaller one underneath. It also was itchy. I checked in with Infection Control to see if I could use an allergy cream to reduce the itch and I was approved to take some Benadryl and use an antihistamine cream. After doing that for a day and a half, the redness, swelling, and sensitivity reduced tremendously.
I was able to perform normal tasks without pain and did not need to miss work. I did not have any flu-like symptoms. No headaches or other reactions.
If you received the vaccine, I am curious to know how your experience went. Again, I am not looking for debates in the comments. I seriously thought about not posting my experience, but I wanted there to be some transparency and real-life experience associated with the vaccine as it becomes available to everyone.
I am sure that I am speaking for everyone when I say that I cannot wait until coronavirus is a thing of the past. There have been so many lives lost and our essential workers are beyond exhausted.
Have a great weekend!