Friends, I am F U L L Y V A C C I N A T E D.
Well, technically I will be fully vaccinated in two weeks, but you know what I mean. I got my second Pfizer shot on Wednesday and I couldn’t have been more excited about it. I am so thankful for science and the rapid development of this vaccine that will help us get back to a life that feels more normal and less scary. I was definitely anxious and more careful than others throughout the pandemic; my biggest worry was that one of my family members could be seriously affected by it. I think I shared that my sister (an elementary school teacher) tested positive on a routine weekly test at school just before Christmas, but that she luckily had no symptoms and didn’t transmit it to anybody else. What immense luck!
It makes me even more grateful that I was finally able to get a vaccine and be part of the solution to stop the spread of COVID!
I am even more thrilled to be able to share that my parents (in Germany) finally got their first Pfizer shots this week as well. There will be a longer wait time for the second shot (here it’s three weeks for Pfizer and four weeks for Moderna, but they’ll receive their second shots in 6 weeks), but all that matters is that they’ve finally gotten appointments and that they’ll be protected very soon. My cousin, who’s a teacher in secondary school, also got his first shot this week, so only my BIL and my cousin’s girlfriend are still waiting for their turns.
Post-second dose side effects
It’s now been about 40 hours post-vaccination and I am feeling good. I didn’t have any side effects after the first dose but did have a slight immune response this time. I didn’t feel anything right after receiving the second dose on Wednesday but ended up not sleeping well. I tossed and turned quite a bit overnight and woke up with a noticeably sore arm and a bit of a headache. As a matter of prudence, I had planned to take the day off from work, if necessary. I was pretty fatigued for most of the day yesterday and ended up taking three naps, which is three naps more than I usually take on any given day. However, I did drink tons of water the day of the appointment and yesterday, and I think that this might have had a positive effect on my vaccine response. I really can’t complain, as this was the full extent of my side effects. It could have been worse.
I am sharing this as a way to document my experience and also to demonstrate the variability of side effects of the different vaccines. My sister, who received the first shot of AstraZeneca was sick for 3 days. Other friends, who got Moderna, only had a response to the second dose. Jon got his second Pfizer shot last week and he was really lucky, as he experienced no side effects, except for a sore arm, from either vaccine dose.
The immune response to the vaccines might vary, but I cannot imagine that any side effects could be worse than getting COVID. So, get vaccinated, if you can. It’s a privilege to have access to this form of protection.
And I know it’s still a ways off, but I, for one, can’t wait for all of my family and friends to be vaccinated and for international travel to resume, so we can go visit and finally hug again. I haven’t seen my family in 18 months (+ counting) – if you don’t count FaceTime (ha!), which has been such a lifesaver.