Getting vaccinated

This week my state expanded vaccine eligibility so I was able to make an appointment. Last night I got the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. I didn’t consciously choose Pfizer. It’s just what the place I was able to get an appointment at had available. It was a mass vaccination site, so the logistics of moving people through were pretty elaborate. But the shot itself was just your garden variety shot. If you’ve ever had a flu shot, it seemed about the same experience.

I will say I’m definitely feeling the flu like effects this morning, but at least so far they’re pretty mild, somewhat like a low grade hangover. I’ve heard that it’s typical to feel those effects either on the first or second dose. Since I’m feeling it on the first, it makes me wonder if the dry cough I had for about a month last year wasn’t a mild case of COVID. (It was never bad enough warrant testing and I was isolated the whole time.)

My second dose is scheduled for the end of the month.

I know a number of people who don’t plan to get the vaccine. It’s actually not an uncommon attitude down here in the south. In fact, one of the reasons Louisiana widened availability is that they were starting to see a substantial amount of slack in the appointment schedules. I think it was the right move. At least allow those of us who want it to get it and increase the percentage of the population who are protected.

A year ago I did post urging my friends to take the virus seriously. Half a million US deaths later (2.6 million worldwide), I’m urging you take the vaccine seriously. It’s all well and good for those of us concerned about the virus to get vaccinated. But if enough of the population doesn’t, the virus will continue to spread and mutate. No one knows how long the vaccines will provide protection, but my understanding is that it will almost certainly be briefer if large portions of the population stay unprotected.

And pervasive vaccination will protect those who, for medical reasons, can’t get vaccinated.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to being able to move around again in public without constantly having to be on guard, at least for (hopefully) this year.

Have you been vaccinated yet? If so, how were the side effects?

34 thoughts on “Getting vaccinated

  1. As you know I participated in the Phase 1 trial of the Moderna vaccine and got two shots last April and May. Originally I thought these were 250 mcg shots but later I discovered they were 25 mcg shots. I think they dropped the 250 mcg dosages out of the trial when after the younger age group had some bad reactions at that dosage. Also, that dosage didn’t appear to bring that much more protection than the 100 mcg dosage which became the dosage distributed in the other trials and to the wider public.

    Anyway, the clinic contacted me back and I’ve now received a booster shot of 100 mcg and am in another trial. They thought I probably had protection at 25 mcg but thought the protection would be greater with a booster shot. They are also interested in testing boosters in general on the possibility that as the COVID virus mutates people may need additional shots.

    I had slightly more reaction to the booster – something like your experience. That suggests that probably I did have some protection, possibly equivalent to having had a mild case of COVID, from the earlier shots.

    I’m with you in encouraging everyone to get the shot.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The rest of us owe volunteers like you a big debt of gratitude. Thank you again. (And of course, we all owe the scientists who made it happen big time.)

      I wonder how those dosages match up with the one in the mass produced version. Most of what I see talks in terms of mL, but that’s volume and it sounds like your various dosages are in terms of the concentration of the active ingredient(s).

      Yeah, with the boosters, I’m a little worried this might become another annual ritual, like the flu shot.

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  2. Good for you! I’m registered with the state and on the list but haven’t heard back yet. Apparently the vaccine is in short supply in Minnesota. I also contacted my previous health insurance provider because something I read made me think they might cover former patients. (I’m on Medicare now, so the normal health care packages don’t apply.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m surprised you’re not eligible yet. I wonder if it comes down to the fact that Minnesota as a population is taking it much more seriously, so the most at risk groups are still working through the system?

      It is good that your state has an official list. In Louisiana, they list the locations but you’re on your own finding actual appointments. I learned very quickly that the regular pharmacies were hopeless. They only booked appointments a few days in advance and were perpetually booked. I had to drive across town for the hospital site I got in at.

      From what I understand, places that administer the vaccine aren’t supposed to limit it to their regular customers. Although they can make you sign up for an account to schedule an appointment.
      But maybe that’s another state by state thing.

      Best of luck on getting in soon.

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      1. In virtue of my age I am eligible when a vaccine becomes available. Next week I’m going to look into the Walgrens drug stores and Walmarts, both of which are doing vaccines. The state site does say that if one is eligible one can seek out a location on their own. The issue seems to be availability, perhaps, as you suggest, because the state was aggressive with health care people, teachers, and other critical high-contact folks.

        (Honestly, needles are one of my few irrational phobias, so I haven’t been as aggressive about arranging to get jabbed as I could be. I’ve sort of gotten over that in my old age, but it’s still enough to make me put it off.)

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        1. Check out the hospitals and large sized clinics. It might be easier to get an appointment at one of them. That seems to be the pattern down here.

          You’re definitely not alone on the needle phobia thing. It probably will cause a lot of people to put it off. What used to work for me was explicitly imagining what it would be like a few seconds after it was done. You also might want to look for the J & J vaccine so you’ll only have to do it once.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I haven’t seen hospitals listed on the state’s “Vaccine Finder” site, but that’s why I emailed my previous healthcare provider. Something about getting jabbed at a drug store or Walmart is a bit weird to me.

            Keeping in mind I’ve hurt myself much worse stubbing my toe or working on my car is one thing that helps me overcome the purely psychological phobia. Shots often don’t hurt at all, and even when they do sting, it’s just not that bad compared to other things that happen all the time.

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          2. I usually get flu shots at Walgreens. It was weird the first time, but since it’s more convenient than the alternatives, it’s what I’ve done for the last few years. My initial impulse was to try to do the same with this vaccine, but the drug store chains down here (Walgreens, Walmart, CVS, etc) were either staying booked or taking too long to update their site to reflect the expanded eligibility, which is why I ended up at a hospital satellite site.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. The reaction to the second shot is individual. Both me and my wife got two shots of Moderna. After the second shot, we felt drowsiness the whole next day. My wife vomited once. One of our friends, who got both shots, had 101.8 temperature all the next day. I have to say, though, that we are in our late 70s, and our friend with the temperature previously had cancer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those are some pretty wide ranging reactions. My own is turning out to be more than mild as the day is progressing. If this had been a work day, particularly a physical work day, I would have had to call in sick. Hope the second shot doesn’t hit me this hard.

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  4. Covid has integrated itself into human society. No amount of preventative medicine will reverse this. Mutations will, like Influenza’s, be part of society from here on out.
    Maybe Covid was modern civilization’s smallpox moment; those who gain immunity/resistance will live to conquer the next frontier.
    I look forward to my turn at the vaccine, not that it will change my lifestyle much. Mask-wearing in grocery stores and public gatherings is here to stay.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You might be right. Certainly we shouldn’t expect all attitudes to go back to what they were pre-2020. I suspect we’ll all be more likely to wash our hands for the rest of our lives. And the next time some mysterious virus is in the news, we’ll probably be much faster to take measures. That’s not really a bad thing. The Asian countries generally fared better than the rest because SARS was a recent memory for them.

      On the other hand, there is scant mention of the 1918 Spanish Flu in the annals of the 1920s and 1930s. So only time will tell.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I haven’t gotten vaccinated yet, but the local hospital put me on a list of people to call if somebody misses their appointment. Basically, I have to be ready to go at a moment’s notice. And I am absolutely ready to get this done and over with!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was somewhat sanguine about exactly when I would get it, until work started making noises about having us back in the office soon, which lit a fire under me. Definitely ready to be done with it myself. Good luck on getting in soon!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson are probably going to be the ones that most of the world receives.

      That’s a lot better than my experience Hariod. I ended up being hit fairly hard yesterday, although today is much better.

      Interesting idea on financial inducement. I’m not sure if it would necessarily work for the people I know who plan to avoid it. It’s already free here. Maybe if it was really large, but that means throwing the country further in debt. Maybe the relief checks that are being sent out should have been a loan that would be forgiven on proof of vaccination.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Mike. All the vaccines will have potential side-effects, of course, and it seems luck of the draw as to whether one suffers any. I know people who’ve had the AstraZeneca shot and who have had effects, but for me, none whatsoever.

        Yes, the jab’s free here in England, as it is all over Europe and (or so I believe) the rest of the world. The uptake has been fantastic here, as has the vaccine rollout itself, although uptake numbers in Southern Europe are quite poor, so I gather. In such instances, I would’ve thought a modest financial inducement would work fairly well — say, an extra 200 pounds or euros on one’s annual allownace. Yes, you could’ve done something creative with the stimmies over there. As it is, it seems everyone’s rushing to buy BTC, GME and TSLA with them.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hi Hariod,
          I definitely didn’t mean to imply that it’s related to the difference in vaccine. My cousin got the same one I did Friday and the only effect he felt was a sore arm. Someone above noted they went through both doses of Pfizer with no side effects other than arm soreness. So, definitely it varies. In my case, I seem to be past the sore arm and mostly past the flu-like effects this morning, so it only lasted about 24-36 hours for me.

          That said, I did read somewhere that J&J’s vaccine side effects were observed to be milder than Pfizer or Moderna’s. No idea how AstraZeneca or others compare though.

          Glad to hear the vaccine is free over there, although I would have been shocked if we had it free and England and Europe didn’t. I hope it is free everywhere, but I know the US government had to pay the companies for it. I’m sure it’s the same for the UK and EU. I hope there’s a plan somewhere for the poor countries, not just for their sake but for all of us.

          Yeah, I think our relief checks were probably more widely distributed than they needed to be. Of course, that’s easy for me to say since I don’t need it and I’m not eligible anyway. I think the calculation was that it was better to overspread it rather than put a lot of bureaucratic obstacles for the people who do desperately need it.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I believe AstraZeneca are making their shot available on a cost basis for the entire world. That may only apply to this first iteration, or be time-limited, I don’t know. I read the Moderna shot was contract-bought over here at c.$30 USD, whereas the AZ one at c.£3. I know we’ve massively over-bought on quantity here in the (misnomered) UK. Canada is way behind the US in rollout, I gather, which seems odd.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I don’t know if any of the vaccine makers are making a profit on this. I know in the US the government is all up in their business, invoking the Defense Production Act and other measures to facilitate manufacturing, and probably scrutinizing their books in the process. We (the US) seem to have gotten our act together on the vaccine. It’s a welcome change. Although at this point we’ve over-bought as well, and now some are worried we’re hogging the supply.

            Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m on a waiting list and have opted to receive the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. It’s only a matter of time before J&J finds its way to the remote areas of Idaho. In the meantime, I’ll continue to limit my social activities.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. No accounting for the stupidity of some folk. Perhaps they believe it is god’s will to wipe us all out and they are determined to go along with it. I had the Astra Zeneca variety and felt rough for a couple of days – went to bed at 4 o’clock each day with a hot water bottle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good deal! Sort of like my experience. I felt rough one day and then was okay. One more dose to go.

      I think a lot of people are just nervous about it, and all the rest is rationalizing. Probably the best we can do is say, “I got it and I’m fine.”

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Got the second shot yesterday afternoon. Effects seem similar to the first shot, although with maybe a little more arm soreness than last time. (Which is strange because I barely felt the shot this time.)

    Lessons learned from last time: drink copious amounts of water, eat normally despite the missing appetite, and do at least some moving around.

    Last time the effects were over by the second morning, so hopefully that’ll be the pattern this time.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Good deal.

        I’ll say the effects on the second shot were definitely more intense. I never ran a fever the first time, but had fever chills this round, and the headache was worse, but nothing a single Advil at a couple of points during the day couldn’t take care of. This morning, I’d say I’m mostly back to normal, with a smidge of remaining arm soreness.

        Liked by 1 person

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