Updated: Jan 1
More than 24 hours ago, I was spending my weekend as usually, busy planning out my schedule for the week and carrying tedious house chores. Little did I know that in a few hours my life would be turned upside down by a little modern medical miracle called the Moderna COVID vaccine.
Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic of a statement, but the truth is that days leading up to the actual vaccination, I was pretty excited and looking forward to my appointment, perhaps feeling hyped up by all the vaccine selfies on Instagram. Because I usually handle vaccines pretty well, I thought the COVID vaccine would be no different, and that the entire experience would sum up to one little sting in the arm and that’s it. No big deal. And boy was I wrong about it.
Hours after that shot went into the arm, I began to feel achy in my arm that soon spreads to the entire body. I felt like I had just ran a marathon as the fatigue started to set in. My mind became fuzzy as my head grew heavy. My body felt like it was burning up, so I prompted took my temperature: 99.4 F - not a fever but certainly higher than my basal body temperature. My left deltoid where I received the shot felt hot, swollen and very sensitive to touch. I was rendered pretty much useless as I could not even lift my left arm to place my phone on my nightstand without pain. When the night falls, I was having difficulty finding comfortable position to sleep in. The entire time I tried to be positive and kept telling myself: “this is a good thing; the fact that I am having this reaction means that my immune system is kicking into high gear and producing the necessary antibodies to protect me”. If I have to be honest, the positivity was pretty hard to sustain as I was truly physically just miserable the entire time.
Thankfully the entire experience lasted for only a day and a half. The symptoms subsided as quickly as it came on, and soon I was back to my old self. What was supposed to be a once in a lifetime event ended in a self-pity party in bed. Nevertheless, I am still very thankful that modern science has gotten to the point where we are able to develop a vaccine within months and not years, and that I had the privilege of being one of the first in line to receive it. Having had such immense physical reaction to a vaccine, I can now appreciate why some people shy away from vaccines and are misled into thinking that vaccines give them the diseases against which they are meant to protect. To those people I will say, do not worry: being physically ill after a vaccine can be a normal part of the process as the the vaccine is teaching the body how to act in the future when it encounters the real threat. So in some ways, it’s like your body is rehearsing for the real thing, so naturally you will have some of the same signs and symptoms of the real disease.
Would I do it again had I known how I would react to the COVID vaccine? Absolutely! Heck, I am even going back for a second dose in a few weeks. At least now I know how I will be spending the 48 hours following the shot and can plan accordingly.